Japanese PM Shinzo Abe emerges from a green pipe disguised as Super Mario during Rio Closing Ceremony
Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe has made an appearance during the Closing Ceremony of the Rio Olympics, disguised as Super Mario.
As the Closing Ceremony drew to a close, the governor of Tokyo formally accepted the Olympic flag, marking the end of the 2016 games.As per tradition, the next hosts were afforded a short time to showcase their country and give a teaser trailer of their plans for the next Games.
It's a fast paced, futuristic trailer featuring athletes in action against a Tokyo backdrop and scenes from manga cartoons Capitan Tsubasa and Doraemon and video game Pac Man.
Cut to Mr Abe travelling by car and announcing that he won't make it in time to Rio. Appears Super Mario, from the famous Nintendo game, running around Tokyo and jumping into a green pipe.
An animation shows drilling through the earth all the way to the Maracana stadium where a Super Mario green pipe appears.
A figure dressed as plumber Mario himself loses the disguise to reveal none other than the prime minister of Japan holding a bright red ball in his hands.
THE JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE JUST SHOWED UP AT THE OLYMPICS DRESSED AS MARIO, POPPING UP THROUGH A PIPE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL.— Mark:Di-Stefano (@MarkDiStef) August 22, 2016
The short cameo came toward the end of the Closing Ceremony on Sunday night.
With the Olympic anthem reverberating through Maracana Stadium, the flag was lowered. The mayor of Rio de Janeiro then gave the flag to the head of the International Olympic Committee, who handed it over to the Tokyo governor, Yuriko Koike. Tokyo will host the 2020 Summer Games.
There's widespread expectation that the games in Tokyo, one of the world's richest, most recognisable, cosmopolitan cities, will run more smoothly than they have in Rio.
But there's also worry in Japan over whether the Olympics will eventually further drag down an economy that has been struggling for decades.