CHRISTIAN RADNEDGE in RIO DE JANEIRO: Japan prime minister Shinzo Abe stole the show at the Rio 2016 Olympic Closing Ceremony by appearing dressed as computer game character Super Mario in Tokyo 2020’s brief segment.
After the official handover of the Olympic flag from Rio mayor Eduardo Paes to Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike, the host of the next Games had its moment to show what people can expect in four years’ time.
Abe, a near-constant supporter of the Tokyo bid, appeared in a video transiting into the figurehead of Japanese gaming giant Nintendo.
The prime minister then arrived in the centre of the Maracana through a green pipe, dressed as Super Mario, to the astonishment of those watching in the stadium and at home.
This was after International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach officially declared the 31st edition of the modern Olympics closed.
Bach said: “These were the marvellous games, in this marvellous city.
“These Olympic Games are leaving a unique legacy, for generations to come. History will talk about Rio de Janeiro before and a much better Rio de Janeiro after the Games.”
They will also tal about the empty seats which were a feature not only of many events but of the Closing Ceremony itself. Tours were reportedly reduce to selling their own stock at a third of face value.
Fans may also have been put off sitting in the lower seats by the torrential rain that came down in Rio.