Rio 2016: Gymnast racks up $5,000 in data charges playing Pokémon Go

Pokémon Go arrives in Rio de Janeiro in time for the Olympic Games, but leaves one athlete with a hefty phone bill

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Rio 2016: Gymnast racks up $5,000 in data charges playing Pokémon Go When the Olympic athletes arrived in Rio de Janeiro, they discovered they were unable to access Pokémon Go, leaving players disappointed. (Pokemon)
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  August 4, 2016

With the Olympic Games commencing this weekend, athletes are getting ready to win big, but also catch Pikachu, Bulbasaur, Charmander and others during the summer games in Brazil.

When the Olympic athletes arrived in Rio de Janeiro, they discovered they were unable to access Pokémon Go, leaving players disappointed.

New Zealand soccer player Anna Green said: "I wish I could run around in the (athletes') village catching Pokémon. I just can't get it on the phone. It's fine, but it would have been something fun to do."

"Sorry guys no (hash) Pokémon in the Olympic Village," tweeted French canoer Matthieu Peche, followed by three crying-face emoji.

Pokémon Go heard their thoughts and soon after said in a statement: "Central and South America - Break out the sneakers and Poké Balls, and get ready to explore the world around you. We are excited to officially be putting Pokémon GO in the hands of our Latin American fans, visitors, and the Olympic athletes in Rio!"

However, one player's addiction cost him a hefty phone bill. Japanese Olympic gymnast Kohei Uchimura incurred data roaming charges of $5,000 playing the augmented reality game when he arrived for the games.

According to his teammate Kenzo Shirai, he said: "He looked dead at the team meal that day," referring to Uchimura's shock bill.

Luckily, his Japanese carrier service agreed to reduce his contract to a you-can-use plan, resulting in 3,000 yen ($30) per day, instead of the 500,000 yen ($3,700) he could have paid.

Uchimura told Japan's Kyodo news agency: "I really lucked out."

 

 

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