July 29, 2021

Nintendo pulled out of Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony, report claims

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic opening ceremony featured a suite of video game music - including tracks from Final Fantasy, Kingdom Hearts and Sonic the Hedgehog - but one publisher was notably missing from the lineup. Where was Nintendo? According to leaked documents, it seems that there were once plans for the publisher to be more involved with the opening ceremony, with Nintendo songs included in the soundtrack and various Mario-themed shenanigans.

The news comes via Japanese media outlet Shukan Bunshun, which has obtained several documents for the opening ceremony ranging from April 2020 to July this year. According to these plans, the event would have featured performances inspired by the "8-bit world of video games" including Super Mario and Space Invaders, overseen by Nintendo legend Shigeru Miyamoto.

One composition plan dated 4th October 2020 featured a proposal that would have seen the return of the warp pipes from the Rio de Janeiro Olympics closing ceremony... with something of a twist. One graphic shows Lady Gaga entering a pipe, only to re-emerge as comedian Naomi Watanabe (sporting a blonde wig and red cap).

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