Back in 2016, former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe took the stage at the Rio Olympics closing ceremony to promote the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. Abe appeared out of a Mario warp pipe while wearing a Mario hat, which was a pretty great moment for Nintendo fans. Unfortunately, it seems Abe wasn't too keen on the idea. He shared his thoughts recently in an interview with Nikkan Sports.
“To be honest, I wasn’t thrilled when [Tokyo 2020] President [Yoshiro] Mori first told me about it. Initially, I wondered if it were okay for the Prime Minister to take on the appearance of Mario, but the Olympics wanted to get rid of political overtones as much as possible. I waited for over ten minutes in that pipe. (laughs)”
While Abe wasn't too into the idea, he was a good enough sport to do the job, and it sounds like he can look back on it and laugh now. It certainly made for a moment many won't forget!