The latest new game for Olympic athletes to compete at in Rio: Pokemon Go

The Rio fun begins.
The Rio fun begins.
Image: Reuters/Sergio Perez
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Finally, some good news for Olympic athletes in Rio: They can now play Pokemon Go.

The smash hit game launched in Brazil late Wednesday (Aug. 3), following an appeal from city mayor Eduardo Paes to release Pokemon Go in time for the games. Pokemon Go creator Niantic took to Facebook to announce they would “officially be putting Pokémon Go in the hands of our Latin American fans, visitors, and the Olympic athletes in Rio.”

Several Olympic athletes were initially disappointed they couldn’t play the game in Rio. Upon opening the app and pointing their phones at their surroundings, they found them bereft of Pokémon and Pokémon stops. With its launch in Brazil, the augmented reality game has hope of distracting the athletes from their “uninhabitable” living quarters and polluted swimming sites.

Unfortunately for them, playing the game in Brazil is pricey. Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura, who is the reigning Olympic all-around gold medalist, had a nasty shock when he racked up a $5,000 phone bill playing Pokemon Go, thanks to international data roaming charges. After receiving the bill, teammate Kenzo Shirai said he “looked dead at the team meal.” Uchimura was able to renegotiate the bill and will now only have to pay a daily flat rate, according to the BBC.

Pokemon Go, which has taken the world by storm, is already available in America, Europe, and Asia.