Five-Ring Circus

Watch Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe Emerge From a Pipe at the Olympics Dressed as Super Mario

During the Olympics closing ceremony Sunday night, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe made a guest appearance to promote the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. But in what is probably a first for the head of a national government*, Abe showed up dressed as Mario, Nintendo’s iconic video game plumber. And, like Mario in 1985’s Super Mario Bros., Abe arrived at the ceremony by traveling through a giant green pipe.

As Kotaku reported, the fireworks that closed this section featured the familiar music that plays at the end of a Super Mario Bros. stage:


In light of these developments, hopes are high that the International Olympic Committee will allow Helsinki to put in a late bid for the 2024 Games, so we get to see Finnish President Sauli Niinistö launched from a gigantic slingshot into a castle filled with green pigs.

Correction, August 21, 2016: This piece originally misidentified the Japanese prime minister as the head of state. The emperor is the head of state; the prime minister is the head of government.

See more of Slate’s Olympics coverage.