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'Pokemon Go' Costly for Japanese Olympian in Rio

Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura pauses during a workout at the Rio Olympic Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 3, 2016.
Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura pauses during a workout at the Rio Olympic Arena in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 3, 2016.
Japanese Olympian Gets $5,000 Bill From Playing Pokemon Go in Rio
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This is What’s Trending Today….

Olympic athletes from around the world are in Brazil to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. The opening ceremony takes place on Friday in Rio de Janeiro.

Most of the competitors are staying in the newly opened Olympic Village. Some have criticized living conditions within the village. Members of the Australian Olympic team, for example, decided to find somewhere else to stay until repairs were made in their building.

Some athletes had another concern. There were no Pokemon to hunt in the Olympic Village. People could download the game in Brazil, but there were no Pokemon in the village.

But that has not stopped one Olympian from trying to hunt Pokemon.

Kohei Uchimura is a Japanese gymnast. He is a six-time world champion and the defending Olympic champion in men’s gymnastics. His first day of competition at the 2016 Games is on Saturday. He is favored to repeat as the Olympic champion.

But, somehow, he has found time -- a lot of time -- to try to play Pokemon Go since arriving in Rio late last month.

Uchimura recently received a nearly $5,000 telephone bill, Japan’s Kyodo news agency reported. A lot of that money is for international roaming charges. This means his phone service did not include data when traveling in other countries.

Thankfully, the AP reported, his phone carrier has agreed to reduce the amount. He will now pay a much-lower fee, of $30, for each day he is in Brazil. Uchimura told Kyodo News that he "really lucked out.”

One Twitter user said Uchimura “deserves a medal for talking down” his phone bill.

It looks like Uchimura and other Pokemon-playing Olympians will soon be able to “catch them all.” Pokemon Go announced Wednesday night that the game is launching in Central and South America. It said on Facebook that Pokemon Go will now be "in the hands of our Latin American fans, visitors, and the Olympic athletes in Rio!​"

​And that’s What’s Trending Today...

I'm Mehrnoush Karimian-Ainsworth.

Ashley Thompson wrote this story. George grow was the editor.

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Words in This Story

athlete - n. a person who is trained in or good at sports, games, or exercises that require physical skill and strength​

roaming - n. the use of a cell phone in an area that is outside the usual area and that requires the use of a different network

data - n. information that is produced or stored by a computer​

deserve - v. used to say that someone or something should or should not have or be given something​

medal - n. a piece of metal often in the form of a coin with designs and words in honor of a special event, a person, or an achievement