The 2016 Olympics just ended in Rio and the closing ceremony was the kind of epic event you expect from the international sporting event to end them all. And as part of the closing festivities, there was a ceremonial passing of the torch from this year’s city to the next. 2020 will be Tokyo’s first Olympic Games since 1964 and Japan celebrated the occasion with a video starring some of its most famous characters, including Hello Kitty, Pac-Man, and Mario. Take a look at Mario’s Olympic debut…
Clearly, Japan is showing a ton of national pride over getting the Olympics at the start of the next decade. And the country shared that pride with some of Japan’s most internationally famous exports, like Pac-Man, Hello Kitty, and Mario, in particular taking center stage. Not only that, but Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made his appearance in full Super Mario Bros. regalia, including the trademark green pipe and sound effect.
Mario’s inclusion in the Olympics video shouldn’t come as a total shock to gamers who’ve seen the Mushroom Kingdom savior play in multiple Olympic Games against Sonic the Hedgehog (who sadly wasn’t invited to the show). Mario certainly appears to love the summer fun in the trailer for his most recent Olympic release. Though you do have to wonder where Luigi or Peach are in this video.
Also, it was odd to see Japan favorite Captain Tsubasa appear in the video instead of more internationally famous anime stars like Dragon Ball's Goku, though Tsubasa definitely has the edge on sportiness.
The 2020 Summer Olympics are planned to begin in Tokyo on July 24 of that year, though no mention yet if Mario and his new anime pal Doraemon will still be part of the games once those start. Also, good luck to the athletes of 2020, because the heat of Tokyo summers can be brutal.