Japan's prime minister closed out Rio Olympics with a little help from Super Mario

shinzo abe mario

Screengrab via NBC Sports/YouTube

He knows how to arrive in style.

Sunday night’s closing ceremonies in Rio de Janeiro marked the end of the Olympics, but Japan already has us hyped for Tokyo 2020.

As part of the Olympic changing of the guard from one host city to the next, Tokyo aired a preview of what’s to come in four years. It’s a colorful highlight of Japan’s athletes and its cultural touchstones from video games and animation (albeit no Pokémon sightings). The athletes warmed up and punched, kicked, and threw a red ball into the hands of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

But without a quick way to get from Tokyo to Rio, he enlisted the help of none other than Mario himself to make a grand entrance through one of those pipes. If this is a taste of what we’re going to get in Tokyo in 2020, we’re on board.

(NBC Sports also has the full highlights of Tokyo’s show.)

While the image of Abe channeling Mario will certainly endear him to international audiences, he doesn’t come without his share of confounding, alleged political beliefs.

H/T the Next Web

Better excuses for delaying the Olympics besides 'women'
Lots of people are a little confused as to why NBC is airing a lot of Olympic events on tape delay. Rio is one hour ahead of the eastern time zone, so most of the events take place during prime viewing hours for Americans, and delaying them only increases the chance that the results are spoiled for people on social media. According to John Miller, NBC Olympics chief marketing officer, you can blame women.
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