— . (@lmfaofa) August 22, 2016
Nintendo just scored a massive publicity victory on the largest global scale imaginable. With the whole world watching the closing ceremony of the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics, Japan chose none other than Mario to be the ambassador of its country and usher in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
In a brief short that closed out the ceremony, Mario searches for the quickest path from Tokyo to Rio de Janeiro, and of course, for Mario, that’s through a green pipe straight through the center of the Earth. He leaps through one provided by the ever dependable Doraemon, teleports himself all the way across the world, and emerges from the other side as Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
It’s a wonderful little segment with dedications to other Japanese iconic characters including PAC-MAN, Hello Kitty, and the county’s most popular animated sports star, Captain Tsubasa.
Of course, SEGA scored all the rights to develop the Mario & Sonic Olympics games over the past decade, but strangely enough, someone else doesn’t show up in the video.
Awww, don’t feel so bad, guy! You’ll be all over the Tokyo Olympics in four years, and who knows?! You might have starred in a good video game by then!
As for Nintendo, the company probably couldn’t be more thrilled with how that segment was received. It’s (almost) a shame that it kind of stole the show from all the athletes who worked their tails off to be there. The rest of us were too busy playing Mario as kids to become good athletes, so this is the most intimate we’ll ever get with the Olympic ceremonies.