Lonely Planet Writer

Will there be Pokemon in Rio? Some Olympic athletes want to know

As athletes begin to arrive in Rio, some have a big concern about the Olympic Village – whether or not they can play Pokemon Go.

Pokemon Go mania travels to the Olympics.
Pokemon Go mania travels to the Olympics. Image by Press Association

Athletes have started arriving at the village to get ready for the Games and it seems the lure of catching Pidgeys and Charmeleons is up there with that of an Olympic medal. Some athletes are heading to Brazil with their hopes high:

But US diver Abby Johnston made her feelings pretty plain on the disappointing reality:

French canoeist Matthieu Peche shared a screenshot to show his frustration at a world bare of Rattatas:

There is no word so far from Pokemon Go creator Niantic on when the game will be coming to Brazil, but Rio’s mayor has already made a plea for the release to coincide with the Olympics.
Alô, Nintendo! Faltam 23 dias para as Olimpíadas Rio 2016. O mundo todo tá vindo pra cá. Venha também! #CidadeOlímpica #Rio2016 #PokemonGoNoBrasil
Mayor Eduardo Paes posted this message on Facebook saying: “The whole world is coming here. Come too!” One athlete who might be hoping that wish comes true is British sprinter Jodie Williams. The 22-year-old will be competing in the 200m in Rio but seems to be one of the millions caught up in the craze.

She’s even lined up Team GB 4x100m relay sprinter Ashleigh Nelson for a challenge in the village:

But it seems like Jodie might have other things to worry about first:

Brazilian gymnast Sergio Sasaki might look as though he’s caught up with a Meowth, but it’s actually the Rio mascot Vinicius (a mix of cat, monkey and bird if you’re interested).

But it looks like even if Pokemon doesn’t make its way to Rio by next week the athletes’ village, with its 3,600 apartments close to the main Barra Olympic Park, should be a pretty good base to experience the summer’s sporting extravaganza.

(Press Association)