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Japanese Olympian playing Pokemon Go racks up $5000 in roaming charges

When you’re a five-time Olympic medalist, you’re obviously pretty damn good at what you do. That doesn’t mean you automatically win the gold medal for savvy smartphone use.

The chap in the middle there is Japan’s Kohei Uchimura. He’s the defending Olympic champ in the men’s all-around and has a total of six world all-around titles under his belt. Uchimura has worn the crown every year since 2009 — except for 2012, when he probably let someone else take over so that he could chill out for a bit.

He’s widely regarded as the best male gymnast of all time, and it just so happens that he’s also hooked on Pokemon Go like a billion other people are.

picard roaming charges

Like a lot of athletes who recently made their way to Rio for the games of the XXXI Olympiad, Uchimura barely had his feed on the runway before he started trying to hunt down a Diglett. Uchimura was so wrapped up in searching his new surroundings, in fact, that he racked up a whopping half million yen in roaming charges.

A teammate said “he looked dead at the team meal” the day he learned what his data binge cost him. It sounds way more sensational in his native currency, but even when you convert to U.S. funds it’s still a staggering $5,000 that Uchimura spent wandering around flicking balls at AR Pokemon.

Fortunately for him, his status as a Japanese sporting icon allowed him to negotiate a bit of a discount with his carrier. They actually wound up charging him next to nothing — just 3000¥, or about $30. Uchimura says that he “really lucked out.”

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