Now you can catch waterborne diseases and Pokémon at the Rio Olympics. Niantic released the world’s favorite augmented-reality game in Brazil on August 3, according to a post on the game’s Facebook page. The game is also now available throughout Central and South America.
Prior to Wednesday, the game did not work anywhere in Brazil, including the Olympic Village. Which was an unpleasant discovery for several athletes who arrived before the games to find they would not be chasing pocket monsters in-between training sessions. (Or as training sessions? Twenty bucks says some gym will be overcharging for a Pokémon Go fitness class soon enough.)
In addition to athletes complaining on Twitter, the mayor of Rio posted a heartfelt plea on Facebook earlier in July asking Nintendo to bring the game to the city in time for the games. Which, maybe, actually worked. That or Niantic, being a business and all, was always planning to release the game in Brazil on the eve of one of the biggest events in the world, as thousands flock to the country with phones in hand. Either way, good news for Team USA’s Abby Johnston and Team Great Britain’s Joe Clarke, who can now stop tweeting about the lack of Pokémon Go and get back to the real task at hand:
winning medals playing a video game.