Mario and that other speedy character have been making appearances at the Olympics in their own digital series of games since 2007. Now though, for the first time ever, the iconic plumber has shown his face at the actual sporting spectacle. He did so with another blue character however, whose name doesn’t rhyme with ‘tonic the eggnog’…
But before we get to that, let’s backtrack a little. The Rio 2016 Olympics kicked off on the 5th of August, and ran right up until last night. It’ll be back in four year’s time, on the other side of the globe, in Tokyo, Japan.
Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was present at the Rio 2016 closing event to accept the transfer to his country in 2020. He did so in what I can only describe as the most Japanese way possible – by dressing up as Mario. Look, you can’t make this stuff up. Check it out!
The video shows a plethora of athletes and their respective sports, but also, a ton of stuff ripped straight from popular Japanese culture. We’ve got Mario, Pac-Man, Hello Kitty, and some football anime because WHY NOT? There’s also that blue character I mentioned earlier (pictured in the header above) who according to a Google search, is Doraemon – a robot cat.
Surprisingly, Pikachu is nowhere to be seen. Given the popularity that little yellow critter has in Japan, and the current success that is Pokémon GO, that is an odd omission.
But who am I to complain about that when we’ve already got the Japanese Prime Minister dressed up as Mario? If this video is just a taste of what the Tokyo 2020 games is going to offer, then colour me very excited. Can you imagine all the awesome characters Japan is going to stuff into their opening ceremony? I simply must see it NOW!