In what’s been a strange year for Nintendo with an almost barren calendar of notable releases, their foray into mobile apps, the rise and fall of their stocks after the release of Pokémon Go… it came as a huge surprise that the 2016 Rio Olympics were closed with the Prime Minister of Japan Shinzo Abe appearing on-stage via warp pipe. Don’t believe me?
— Taylor Jones (@TJ) August 22, 2016
In case you’re confused as to why this even happened, Tokyo will be hosting the 2020 Olympic Games and the closing ceremony of any Olympics is usually ended with a passing of the torch (pun intended) to the city/country hosting the next games.
Of course, the internet went wild.
So Prime Minister Shinzo just popped out of a green pipe dressed as Mario. We’re calling it – best Olympics handover EVER
— Mashable (@mashable) August 22, 2016
The prime minister of Japan emerging from a pipe while dressed as Mario during the Olympics is the right kind of stupid we need in the world
— Zorak (@SAZorak) August 22, 2016
— Morgan Lamia (@Morg_Lamia) August 22, 2016
The Prime Minister of Japan just popped out of a giant green pipe at the Rio Olympics, dressed as Mario. 2020 is gonna be _wild_.
— Ryan C. Gordon (@icculus) August 22, 2016
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
— NBC Olympics (@NBCOlympics) August 22, 2016
And just to be sure that Japan wasn’t kidding around with putting Mario up front in their announcement, they ended their glitzly showcase with the end stage fanfare from the games.
— beIN SPORTS (@beINSPORTS) August 22, 2016
Along with the internet, the stocks market loved the closing ceremony too.
This is what happens when Nintendo show Mario at the Rio Olympics…. pic.twitter.com/kgWtTuA7ar
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) August 22, 2016
While it’s pretty fantastic to watch Japan make some fun with their handover performance, which also featured other iconic Japanese characters such as Doraemon and Pacman, we couldn’t help but notice the distinct lack of another video game character who’s also frequently featured prominently alongside a certain plumber during the Olympics…