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Japanese prime minister shows up — in Super Mario costume
The prime Mario, er, minister of Japan, Shinzo Abe. (REUTERS/Stoyan Nenov)

Well, that’s an entrance by a high-ranking global political figure you don’t see every day. During the Closing Ceremonies, a figure in a “Super Mario” costume appeared — and revealed himself to be Japan’s prime minister, Shinzo Abe.

The moment occurred during the ceremonial handoff from Rio to Tokyo, the host of the 2020 Summer Games. The Japanese delegation apparently was keen on highlighting that country’s longstanding leadership in the field of video games.

In a nod to the popular Nintendo game, Abe first channeled Super Mario in a video at Rio’s Maracaña Stadium. The prime minister was shown in a car in Tokyo saying, “I will not make it to Rio in time!” He solved that problem by turning into the iconic character, then dropping into a tunnel that was conveniently drilled through the Earth to Brazil.

You know, as one does.

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The 2016 Olympic Games run from Aug. 5 through Aug. 21 in Rio de Janeiro. Throughout, we will be chronicling the latest news and more from our reporters in Rio and Washington.