‘Pokemon Go’ Gets Released in Brazil Just in Time for the Olympics

Athletes competing in Rio can now earn virtual medals as well

Last Updated: August 4, 2016 @ 11:12 AM

The wait is over for Olympic athletes — and we’re not talking about the four years since the last Summer Games in London.

“Pokemon Go” was finally released in Brazil on Wednesday, the Associated Press reported, much to the delight of everyone heading to Rio de Janeiro for the real-life sporting extravaganza, which officially opens on Friday.

Around 30 nations already have the addictive virtual reality game from U.S. technology company Niantic, which uses characters created by Japanese video game maker the Pokemon Co.

The release in Brazil comes after Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura racked up a massive data roaming bill while trying to play “Pokemon Go” in Rio.

Uchimura is the defending Olympic gold medalist in the men’s all-around and a record six-time world champion. He arrived in Brazil last week for training camp and thought that it might be fun to download “Pokemon Go” and see what he could find during his Olympic trip. Unfortunately, he realized too late that Niantic hadn’t yet expanded “Pokemon Go” to South America.

As he revealed on Tuesday to Kyodo News, he discovered that his use of roaming data had left him with a phone bill of 500,000 yen, which is just under $5,000. Fortunately for Uchimura, he was able to negotiate with the phone company and get them to agree to only charge him a flat rate of $30 per day.

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