Today it's been revealed from a report that Nintendo was originally supposed to be part of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games opening ceremony but backed out. They backed out a month before the ceremony was held, and their absence was definitely noticeable. In their stead, Square Enix, Bandai Namco, Capcom, Sega, and Konami all contributed music to the event. As of June 16th, 2021 (the opening ceremony was July 23, 2021), the 'Main Theme' from The Legend of Zelda, 'Super Mario Suite', 'Kirby Super Star Medley' and 'Opening' from Pokemon were all part of the ceremony, but they were removed after Nintendo backed out.
Also cut back in October was a pitched segment where Naomi Watanabe and Lady Gaga (remotely) appearing from a warp pipe. It was supposed to replicate Shinzo Abe's appearance during the Rio 2016 ceremony, but that was canned.
Why did Nintendo back out of the Olympics?
A great question that can be summed up with a quick answer. No one wants the Olympics right now. This is especially true in Japan, where more than 80% of Japan opposes Tokyo hosting the 2020 Olympic Games. That was 10 weeks before the Olympics, and while the show must go on in the Olympics case, the poll was taken during the 4th wave of COVID-19 infections, making the Olympics a dicey proposal while COVID-19 refuses to relinquish its grip on Japan.
A further 43% of respondents to the poll wanted the Olympics cancelled, and 40% wanted a postponement. Only 14% supported the Olympics being held as scheduled, and if the games were to go ahead (as of 10 weeks ago at the time of the poll) 59% wanted no spectators, and only 3% wanted regular capacity Olympics where the stadium would be full.
If you'd like to check out what else was supposed to be in the 2020 Olympics opening ceremony, check out the full document here.