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RIP Bathing Suit Mario

Do you remember how the 2020 Summer Olympic Games in Tokyo went? If you can't recall a single thing about them, don't worry — you're not losing your mind. That major sporting event was postponed in its entirety due to the craziness of the past year, and was instead rescheduled to take place in 2021. Now that the new date is just months away, a few details are starting to leak out, including how the Summer Olympics seemingly shelved a very interesting Mario appearance.

According to Japanese magazine Shukan Bunshun (by way of Kotaku), an "award-winning choreographer" named Mikiko was originally in charge of coordinating the opening festivities for the Tokyo Olympics. In her plan, an "8-bit Mario" would've shown up at some point on "a giant screen made of lanterns." Better yet, this Mario would've been wearing a bathing suit, really driving it home that these Olympic Games were of the summer variety. It's unclear whether Mario's attire would've been inspired by his now-famous shirtless costume in Super Mario Odyssey, the one that really took fans by surprise when it first appeared. One thing does seem clear, though — this particular take on the plumber likely would've avoided the controversy his Odyssey rendition generated. It's really hard to include nipples in 8-bit pixel art.

Unfortunately, despite appearing in numerous Olympic-themed video games with his old pal Sonic, Mario's cameo at the Tokyo Olympics wasn't meant to be. A man by the name of Hiroshi Sasaki eventually took over as creative director for the games, and Mikiko's vision for the opening ceremony was ultimately scrapped. As Kotaku reported in another article, Sasaki later resigned from that role "after suggesting that comedian and fashion icon Naomi Watanabe should appear as a pig." So it really seems like the opening ceremony for the 2021 Tokyo Games are a bit of a mess right now — one that could've been avoided had they just stuck with Mikiko and Mario.

That's not to say Mario can't still make an appearance, though. Whoever is now in charge of coordinating the opening ceremony could, theoretically, still include Nintendo's iconic character in some way. It wouldn't be the first time Japan gave an Olympic nod to the plumber; back in 2016, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe literally did a Mario cosplay. We'll have to wait and see if the character works his way back into the fold when the Summer Olympics officially kick off on July 23.