Tokyo, Japan is the next location for the 2020 Olympic Games. During the closing ceremony the Japanese Prime Minister wanted to prep everyone for the event in Tokyo, and he did so by transforming into one of Japan's most iconic characters: Super Mario. Check out the crazy awesome video.
Before that segment of the clip aired, originally the Prime Minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe, was stuck in traffic in Japan on his way to the airport to attend the games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. However, he was unable to get out of traffic and decided that the only way he would be able to get to the closing ceremony on time would be to transform into Mario. No joke.
Abe-san makes the transformation by putting on the Super Mario red cap, which turned the Prime Minister into the pudgy, 3D plumber from Brooklyn, New York. Mario was accompanied by another pop-cultural icon in Japan, Doraemon. The little blue cat watched on as Super Mario took a dive into the giant green warp tunnel, and a short clip zoomed out to show planet Earth and the tunnel's extension from Japan to Brazil.
Shinzo Abe managed to emerge from the other side of the tunnel in human form, dressed up in the traditional blue and red overalls and red cap. He unfastened the outfit, dressed in a suit underneath, and invited everyone with a warm welcome to the 2020 Olympic Games, set to take place in Tokyo, Japan.
It's a real big boost to gaming to see Japan embrace such a large part of their cultural growth. Nintendo is one of the most prominent and consistently popular companies in the region. With so many news stories and countries coming down on gaming due to terror attacks and shooting massacres, it's nice to see gaming get some positive representation, and on one of the largest media stages in the world. It's a nice counter-reaction to things like Counter-Strike: Global Offensive's gambling scandal, or Counter-Strike being blamed for the shooting in Munich and having the e-sports event pulled from major German broadcasting stations.
In this case, we get to see Japan and Nintendo celebrating both the Olympic Games and video games in one seamless little spot.
For those of you who might be scratching your head at why Nintendo would even allow for such a thing to happen, keep in mind that the International Olympic Committee and Nintendo have been working together over the years with the popular Mario & Sonic At The Olympic Games series that comes out every few years for Nintendo's gaming devices. So it's no surprise that Mario would make an appearance at the Olympics in some capacity.
Now I can't wait to see what the Tokyo ceremony will be like and whether or not we'll get to see more gaming icons from Nintendo pop up during the 2020 Olympic Games opening.