Olympic gymnast runs up a nearly $5000 cellphone bill playing Pokemon Go in Rio

By Cindy Boren

Gymnast Kohei Uchimura needs to read up on roaming charges. Photo / AP
Gymnast Kohei Uchimura needs to read up on roaming charges. Photo / AP

Japanese gymnastics great Kohei Uchimura learned the hard way that it will cost him to make like Ash Ketchum during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

Uchimura, the six-time world champion, ran up a 500,000-yen ($6800) cellphone bill playing Pokemon Go thanks to international roaming charges he incurred because the game isn't completely supported yet in Rio.

Uchimura told the Kyodo News that he had downloaded the app when he arrived in Sao Paulo for a pre-Olympic training camp and, like all humans, he was instantly addicted as well as unaware that he had no flat rate for overseas data usage. Pokemon Doh!

"He looked dead at the team meal that day," his teammate, Kenzo Shirai, said.

Luckily, the reigning gold medalist in the all-around competition was able to get his Japanese provider to reduce the bill to a daily $42 flat rate.

"I really lucked out," he said.

Uchimura is the favourite to win all-around gold in Rio, after taking silver in Beijing and gold in London. Now if he can just catch those Pikachu.

- Washington Post

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