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Japanese Olympic gymnast racked up a $5,000 bill playing Pokémon GO

by Eric Frederiksen | August 6, 2016August 6, 2016 1:00 pm PST

I don’t play Pokémon GO, but based on conversations with my friends, it seems like it’s pretty tough to put down. Japanese Olympic gymnast Kohei Uchimura definitely confirms that notion.

According to, the six-time world champion gymnast spent his downtime playing Pokémon GO in Rio, not realizing just how much of a bill he was racking up.

“He looked dead at the team meal that day,” said teammate Kenzo Shirai talking to the Kyodo news agency, after receiving a 500,000 yen (about $4,954) bill from his mobile provider.

His carrier reduced his bill to about $30 per day, and Uchimura was grateful.

“I really lucked out,” he said.

Pokémon GO might be an international phenomenon, but mobile carriers are still largely domestic organizations when it comes to data charges. Oops.

Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...