Japanese PM Shinzo Abe appears as video game character Mario at Olympics closing ceremony

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a green pipe dressed as Super Mario during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 21, 2016.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe emerging from a green pipe dressed as Super Mario during the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games on Aug 21, 2016. ST PHOTO: KEVIN LIM

The closing ceremony of the 2016 Olympics in Rio on Sunday night (Aug 21) featured an unexpected entrance by Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to promote the next Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2020.

First, a video was played allowing Japan to give a sneak peek of what can be expected from Tokyo 2020.

It then showed Mr Abe being given a red ball while in Tokyo, which he had to bring to Rio on time.

He transformed into Nintendo's famous video game character Mario, who then jumped into a pipe drilled through the earth, bringing him directly to Rio de Janeiro.

There Mario arrived, in the midst of the closing ceremony and right on time at the Maracana Stadium.

The costume immediately dropped after, unveiling Mr Abe as the person under the outfit, to raucous applause round the stadium.

He held up the red ball symbolising the Japanese flag and waved his Mario hat as the audience roared.

The unique entrance took social media by storm.

According to Bloomberg, Nintendo's shares also rose about 3 per cent.

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