The Rio Olympics are done. The closing ceremony has seen the Olympic flame doused, and the flag handed to Japan, who will host the Summer Games in Tokyo in 2020.
As a taste of what’s to come, Japan took the metaphorical baton and closed the ceremony with a Tokyo 2020 logo reveal that absolutely stole the show. Rio’s ceremonies were educational and well-done, but never awe-inspiring like Beijing. Japan brought the awe, and they did it with the help of Super Mario. After a very “Japan” opening number showing off some impressive technology, we went to a video package that featured animé superstars, Hello Kitty and a plethora of amazing Japanese structures.
Then, Mario dove into one of his big, green pipes and dug his way from Tokyo to Rio, where a pipe emerged in the middle of the arena. In Rio, out popped Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe who was decked out in Mario’s overalls. He shed the red and blue, then stood triumphantly.
Everyone loved it. Everyone.