'Pokemon Go' Launches in Brazil Ahead of Olympics

PHOTO: A smartphone screen shows the "Pokemon Go" mobile game in Rio de Janeiro, Aug. 3, 2016, when the smash-hit game was released in Brazil prior to the summer Olympic Games in the Brazilian city.PlayKyodo/AP Photo
WATCH Pokemon Go Mania Drives Players Outdoors

Olympic athletes aspiring to grab the gold in Rio de Janeiro can now also set their sights on being the next Pokemon champion.

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The augmented reality app, "Pokemon GO," which lets players roam around to collect virtual monsters in the real world, launched in Brazil late Wednesday.

"Break out the sneakers and Poké Balls, and get ready to explore the world around you," read a message on the game's Facebook page. "We are excited to officially be putting Pokemon GO in the hands of our Latin American fans, visitors, and the Olympic athletes in Rio!"

There have been reports of athletes expressing frustration that they couldn't play the popular mobile app in Rio, where the Olympics' opening ceremony kicks off Friday.

The timing couldn't come soon enough as Brazil expects over half a million foreign tourists to visit the country over the course of the Rio games, according to Brazil's tourism bureau.

"Pokemon Go" has been a global phenomenon as users in roughly 30 nations are able to play the game.