An Olympian says he racked up a $5,000 phone bill trying to play 'Pokémon GO' in Brazil

In theory, “Pokémon GO” is a game that’s free-to-play, but not if you don’t have a good international data plan set up. Kohei Uchimura, a Japanese gymnast competing in the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, found that out the hard way.

Kohei Uchimura 2012 OlympicsAP ImagesKohei Uchimura won the gold medal at the 2012 Olympics for the men’s individual all-around gymnastics competition.

According to Kyodo News, Uchimura was hit with a 500,000 yen ($5,000) bill after attempting to catch Pokémon in his free time at the Olympic training camp.

After seeing his phone bill, Uchimura’s teammate Kenzo Shirai said, “He looked dead at the team meal that day.”

Luckily, after asking his phone company for mercy, Uchimura says was able to negotiate a daily rate of 3,000 yen (around $30) for the time he already spent playing “Pokémon GO.”

“I really lucked out,” Uchimura said.

Though “Pokémon GO” is not technically available in Brazil yet, some have said that the game is still playable if you are using an international phone or download the game using an account based in a country where the game is available.

However, another Olympian, British kayaker Joe Clark arrived to find that Rio de Janeiro was a Pokémon wasteland.

So, whether Uchimura was able to find some Pokémon in Brazil despite its lack of availability there, or whether he racked up a huge phone bill and didn’t actually catch anything, is unclear.

Either way, we’re happy he didn’t go bankrupt in the process.

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