Here’s a lesson, kids. Before you travel to a far away country to chase your athletic dreams, double check your cell phone roaming plan.
Kohei Uchimura just learnt the hard way.
Uchimura is a legend of Japanese gymnastics. He is a six-time World Champion and already owns for Olympic gold medals. But in his quest to be the very best (that no one ever was), he made a huge mistake — travelling to Brazil without telling his mobile provider he needed some roaming data coverage. After a few days of heavy Pokemon Go playing, Uchimura discovered that his charges had skyrocketed.
Uchimura said he downloaded the app when he touched down in Sao Paulo for pre-Olympic training camp and just like so many around the world, became instantly hooked — not knowing he didn’t have a flat rate for overseas data usage.
When Uchimura checked his bill, he couldn’t believe his eyes.
“500,000 yen…” sighed the defending six-time world champion.
Added teammate Kenzo Shirai, “He looked dead at the team meal that day.”
That’s $4,943 in U.S. dollars! Luckily, it would seem that Japanese cell providers have some discretion when it comes to national sports heroes. After contracting the company, Uchimura was able to to buy a data plan that will only cost him $30/day. That still seems expensive, but way better than the original $5,000 bill. Besides, what is money when you gotta catch ’em all?
“I really lucked out,” Uchimura said.