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Watch: How Super Shinzo Abe Mario upstaged Rio Olympics 2016 Closing Ceremony

Japan made sure that the handover of the Olympic flag from Rio to Tokyo was a memorable one as Prime Minister 'Super' Shinzo Abe made a brief but showstopping gig at the Olympics closing ceremony. No, that isn't a typo, Shinzo Abe did emerge on stage as the Nintendo game character, Mario, literally jumping out of a green underground pipe, almost upstaging the Rio Olympics 2016 Closing Ceremony.

 Watch: How Super Shinzo Abe Mario upstaged Rio Olympics 2016 Closing Ceremony

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe appears as the Nintendo game character Super Mario. AP

The organizers for the Tokyo games crammed the works into a brief two-minute film montage before Abe's appearance: athletes participating in more than a dozen sports, as iconic Japanese images like Tokyo Tower, cherry blossoms, a bullet train, Tokyo Bay Bridge and the famous "scramble" intersection in Shibuya whizzed by.

Anime and video game characters including Pac Man and Hello Kitty were featured, along with the beloved blue Doraemon cat, who pulled from his pocket of magic gadgets, a green warp pipe to whisk Abe, transformed briefly into Super Mario, from his limousine in Tokyo straight to Rio.

Abe emerged atop the "pipe" in a big red Super Mario cap and costume, holding a glowing red ball kicked to him by famed manga soccer star Captain Tsubasa.

Watch Abe's impressive entrance here

Tokyo 2020 organizers said in a statement on Monday that Abe came up with the Super Mario idea during a brainstorming session. Staff at Nintendo would say only that the government asked to borrow the character for the show.

On Twitter, Abe pretty much was the biggest highlight of the Olympics finale. From adulation to memes, the Japan PM had it all with his remarkably creative appearance.

With inputs from agencies

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Updated Date: Aug 22, 2016 16:50:53 IST