Super Mario or Shinzo Abe? Japan’s PM Makes a Winning Entrance in Rio by Michelle Toh @FortuneMagazine August 22, 2016, 12:16 AM EDT E-mail Tweet Facebook Linkedin Share icons Shinzo Abe’s epic entrance at the Rio Olympics tonight pretty much couldn’t have been more flawless in kicking off the drumbeat of excitement for Tokyo 2020. After the International Olympic Committee performed the official handoff from Rio to Tokyo at Sunday’s closing ceremony, Japan’s prime minister surprised everyone by popping up as Super Mario, an homage to Nintendo’s beloved Mario Brothers. PM Abe appears at Rio closing ceremony dressed as Mario. pic.twitter.com/CK7HjKUk0c — Nippon.com (@nippon_en) August 22, 2016 Before Abe’s entrance, video shown inside the Maracana Stadium had depicted “Mario” running through the streets of Tokyo and pulling out a map that highlighted Rio de Janeiro, The Associated Press reported. See also: How Pokémon Go Is Propelling Business in Rural Asia The video game character then hopped into a green warp tube. Inside the stadium, a familiar “level up” sound rang out. Out came Prime Minister Abe, complete with Mario’s familiar red cap and red ball in hand. Plenty of viewers took to social media to cheer on the prime minister’s performance, with some even calling it best moment of the night. THE JAPANESE PRIME MINISTER SHINZO ABE JUST SHOWED UP AT THE OLYMPICS DRESSED AS MARIO, POPPING UP THROUGH A PIPE. THIS IS NOT A DRILL. — Mark:Di-Stefano (@MarkDiStef) August 22, 2016 I'm not a fan of Shinzo Abe's revisionist politics, but I gotta give him geek props for this. https://t.co/FzDEfyJ4Vo — TJ Dimacali (@tjdimacali) August 22, 2016 Ima let you finish but Shinzo Abe had the best entrance of all time pic.twitter.com/uQsQt5SmLI — Olympic Bun (@Rxbun) August 22, 2016 Shinzo Abe just popped out of a Mario tube at the Rio Olympics. What a time to be alive. — Matt Ford (@fordm) August 22, 2016 Looks like I can cross out "Shinzo Abe coming out of a green pipe as Mario" off my "must see list". #ClosingCeremony pic.twitter.com/wdkxygMgTT — Basith (@aBasithH) August 22, 2016 In only five minutes, the Japanese overshadowed the entire #ClosingCeremony. They absolutely Beyoncéd #Rio2016. — Fernando (@coverfer) August 22, 2016 See also: Japan’s Defense Ministry Is Seeking a Record Budget for Next Year The only slight hiccup—if one could even call it that—came later, when workers had difficulty removing the tube from the stadium floor, according to the AP.