This picture taken on August 3, 2016, shows the screen of a smartphone displaying the Pokemon Go app in Brussels. / AFP / Belga / NICOLAS MAETERLINCK / Belgium OUT (Photo credit should read NICOLAS MAETERLINCK/AFP/Getty Images)
By Martha C. White
August 3, 2016

Check your data plans before firing up Pokemon Go, kids.

That’s the memo at least one Olympic athlete didn’t get this week: According to Business Insider, Japanese gymnast Kohei Uchimura ran up ¥500,000 (about $5,000) in data charges while playing Pokémon Go in Brazil.

Although Pokémon Go hasn’t been officially released in Brazil, players can use some of the features there already. The Kyodo News said the four-time gold medalist downloaded the app when he flew into the country for the Olympics and neglected to check his international roaming status. After discovering the gigantic overage charges, Uchimura reportedly contacted his mobile carrier to beg for a break. They acquiesced and gave him a $30-a-day travel data package, backdated to his arrival.

“I really lucked out,” he said.

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Although the numbers aren’t as extreme, other Pokémon Go players have also found out the hard way that the “free” game can chew through a data allowance pretty quickly, triggering overage charges. A business owner in London admitted to racking up an extra $40 a month on data — although that’s still a bargain compared to the motorist who reportedly wrecked a car while playing at the wheel.

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