Update: The original post contains a minor error stating that Lady Gaga was going to emerge from a Warp Pipe, however, this was a slight mistranslation. Gaga, sporting a Mario hat, was actually going to enter a pipe remotely, while Naomi would emerge from a different pipe in Tokyo. Check out the image below via Bunshun for a more accurate explanation.
As many may have noticed, the opening ceremony to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics included an ensemble of video game music tracks during the Parade of Nations. Featuring compositions from popular franchises such as Dragon Quest, Final Fantasy, Monster Hunter and Sonic the Hedgehog, there was notably a severe lack of Nintendo representation. As reported by the Japanese publication Bunshun, this was apparently due to some last minute changes.
Leaked documentation reveals plans for the following tracks to have been played at the event; The Legend of Zelda theme, Super Mario Suite, Kirby Super Star Medley, and the Pokémon opening. Alongside this, American singer-songwriter Lady Gaga and Japanese comedian Naomi Watanabe were supposed to emerge from a Super Mario Warp Pipe, similar in style to Shinzo Abe at the 2016 Olympics closing ceremony. Disappointingly, these ideas were scrapped due to the surfacing of offensive and controversial statements by the composition organizer, Keigo Oyamada, and the show director, Kentaro Kobayashi, resulting in their forced resignation. Changes were promptly made “just before the show,” and Nintendo’s original involvement was scrapped. When asked to comment on the situation, Nintendo replied with “we are not in a position to answer.”