Japanese Olympic champion racks up US$5,000 bill playing Pokémon Go in Brazil

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A Japanese Olympics star has blamed Pokémon Go after being hit with a 500,000 yen (about US$5,000) bill in roaming charges from his carrier. Artistic gymnast Kohei Uchimura, who won gold at the 2012 Games in London and is the reigning world champion, said he only downloaded the game after arriving in Sao Paulo, Brazil to train for Rio, but quickly got hooked despite not having arranged a flat rate for data roaming.

Uchimura “couldn’t believe his eyes” when he saw the bill, according to the Kyodo news agency, with teammate Kenzo Shirai saying “He looked dead at the team meal that day.” Even though Pokemon Go isn’t particularly heavy on data and there were likely other culprits — the game only officially came out in Brazil yesterday, though Uchimura may have been playing the Japanese version — roaming charges can rack up extremely quickly when you use your phone abroad for pretty much anything online.

 The story has a happy ending, though — after Uchimura called his carrier to explain, he was let off with a flat daily charge of around $30, which is enough to make him probably wish he’d just bought a Brazilian SIM card but you know, not US$5,000. (theverge.com)

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