Japanese Olympian Runs up $5,000 Phone Bill Playing Pokemon Go in Brazil
Reigning Olympic and world gymnastic champion Kohei Uchimura caught a break when his Japanese phone carrier let him off the hook for the huge data roaming bill and allowed him to pay a flat daily rate.
Six-time world champion and five-time Olympic medalist gymnast Kohei Uchimura ran up a $5,000 (￥500,000) data roaming bill playing Pokemon Go in between training in Brazil for the upcoming Games.
Uchimura downloaded the app when he arrived in Sao Paulo for the Japanese team's training camp. The gold-medal favorite hadn't arranged a flat rate for data while overseas and was said to be shocked when he saw his bill.
"He looked dead at the team meal that day," fellow gymnast Kenzo Shirai told Japanese media.
The major Japanese mobile carriers offer a flat daily rate for data of around $30 (￥3,000), but users have to stick to a single network while overseas.
Uchimura caught a break when he contacted his carrier back in Japan, which agreed to let him make use of the flat rate retrospectively.
The Pokemon Go augmented reality game was released in Japan on July 22 and was estimated to have been downloaded to one in four iPhones in the country within days.
However, Pokemon Go fever may already be cooling off in the home of the famous franchise; by Aug. 1, the app had dropped from the top of the highest-grossing game charts to No. 4, behind three local releases.
Nintendo stock has fallen around 40 percent from the peak it hit on July 19 in the wake of investor excitement about the potential for the game.