Rio de Janeiro handed the baton over to Tokyo on Sunday evening as the 2016 Olympic Games closing ceremony took place at the famous Maracana Stadium.
And there was a fantastically surreal moment during the ceremony as Japan’s Prime Minister emerged from a green pipe dressed as one of the country’s national treasures, Super Mario.
Following a brief sketch of the ‘real’ Super Mario reading a map of Rio in Tokyo, the iconic animated Nintendo character then hopped down a green pipe before emerging in the Brazilian city. (Scroll down this page to watch the video).
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Shinzo Abe isn’t known for his extrovert displays and pop culture references, per BBC News, so the sight of the 61-year-old dressed as the video game superstar caused quite a reaction on social media.
In fact, many believe the Japanese PM stole the show in Rio.
Video: Shinzo Abe emerges as Super Mario
Reaction on Twitter
Abe ended the parade by holding up a glowing red ball, signifying Japan’s rising sun.
Tokyo 2020 promises to be bizarre but brilliant
As well as Super Mario, other Japanese pop culture icons were in attendance, including Hello Kitty, Ultramar and Astro Boy.
Doraemon, one of Japan’s most famous characters, was also there.
One thing’s for sure: Tokyo 2020 promises to be as brilliant as it will be bizarre.
Will the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo be the best Games ever? Have your say by leaving a comment below.