Six-time world gymnastics champion racks up $5000 phone bill after playing Pokemon Go in Rio

If you're thinking that only average people are riding the Pokemon Go phenomenon, you're dead wrong! Take Japanese Olympian Kohei Uchimura, for instance, who has managed to rack up data roaming charges of 500,000 yen (or nearly $5,000 at the current international currency conversion rates) after playing Pokemon Go in Rio.

Uchimura, winner of the 2012 Olympic Gold Medal in the all-around event, is one of the world's top athletes. Considered the main favorite in the all-around event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Uchimura is also a Pokemon Go trainer. In a rather comical (but not for Uchimura) turn of events, the Japanese Olympian has racked up data roaming charges of 500,000 yen after playing Pokemon Go in Rio, where he is now preparing for this month's Olympic Games.

Speaking to the BBC, Kenzo Shirai, one of Uchimura's teammates said that the six-time all-around world champion was feeling the blow at the team meal that day.

Fortunately for Uchimura, however, his carrier was willing to let him go with a pat on the shoulder; instead of paying up the 500,000 yen that he racked up in data roaming charges, Uchimura will only have to pay 3000 yen ($30) per day of mobile use in Rio. In a statement issued to Japanese news agency Kyodo, Uchimura said that he "really lucked out".

If you're a Pokemon Go player and you're planning a trip soon, let Uchimura's story be a lesson to you. Unless your carrier allows for free data roaming abroad, catching Pokemon outside of your home country can turn out to be a very expensive hobby. If you just have to catch Pokemon while abroad, you'll be much better off getting a prepaid card with included data.

Since launching last month, augmented reality mobile game Pokemon Go turned into a world sensation, beating all previous records for mobile games downloads and daily users.

source: BBC



1. sunnyfpy

Posts: 292; Member since: May 12, 2013

Enjoy your Pokemon, hahaha

11. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

5G's is pocket change for this guy.

16. Commentator

Posts: 3723; Member since: Aug 16, 2011

Especially since instead of charging $5000 his carrier is charging him $30 per day. But then again, "Athlete racks up bill of $30 per day" is hardly a headline.

2. Barney_stinson

Posts: 672; Member since: May 30, 2016

Make your country proud!! Country will pay for you as gift!

4. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

But Pokemon GO barely takes any data, did he pay $100/mb? Must have been something else eating data, but Pokemon is so hot right now we should all blame/praise it.

5. xondk

Posts: 1904; Member since: Mar 25, 2014

If you do not have map downloaded offline then it still requires map data, which while not heavy use, still uses some data, and in many places you still play for roaming data in other countries counted by the megabytes, I think normally its like 10 megabyte chunks that cost, insane sums per chunk.

7. verbalize

Posts: 150; Member since: May 03, 2013

Haven't you ever heard of international charges?

10. wargreymon

Posts: 764; Member since: Nov 05, 2013

I know roaming is expensive, but Pokemon GO doesn't take that much data. So unless something else used data the price has to be really insane as I wrote. Good thing EU is removing roaming charges next year within itself.

6. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

And then they said Asians are smart.

12. Bernoulli

Posts: 4362; Member since: Sep 01, 2012

That's just a racial stereo type, not always the case.

17. insanity99

Posts: 104; Member since: Feb 28, 2015

What a smart comment. ZZzzz...

19. xfire99

Posts: 1207; Member since: Mar 14, 2012

U comment are dumb as u self. He got himself a deal for 30US/day and that is much smarter more than u self. 5K isnt much either for a 6 times World Champion.

20. legiloca

Posts: 1676; Member since: Nov 11, 2014

You guys can't seem to take any JOKES. All Three Of You

9. TechieXP1969

Posts: 14967; Member since: Sep 25, 2013

This game has really brought out the stupidity in people.

15. xq10xa

Posts: 810; Member since: Dec 07, 2010

If you make that paper...spend it how you want.

18. vprasad1

Posts: 24; Member since: Jun 03, 2013

Apparently Not a T-Mobile customer

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit for samples and additional information.