The popular dating app Tinder is a big winner in the Sochi Olympics with sporting stars of snow and ice getting flirty on their phones and sparking up relationships. It is Valentine’s Day tomorrow, after all, and what are all those pumped-up athletes to do with all their energy? Tinder in the Olympic village is a phenomena unto itself, with almost everyone on there being ultra-fit, super-athletic, and more often than not, pretty hot too. Jamie Anderson, the US Gold Medal winner, has described Tinder Sochi-style as Tinder at “the next level.”
Cooped up together for weeks, in a cold and remote resort, with no opportunities to do what young attractive people usually do, Tinder is filling the gap for restless Olympians, looking for some action away from the slopes.
The dedication required to get to the Olympics has meant months and even years of grueling, and lonely, training schedules. Clubbing, drinking and dancing will have long been frowned upon and banned by coaches. When its time to celebrate, or commiserate, after all that discipline, how better than with some friendly fun with fellow athletes?
Tinder works by location. In the mountainous villages where the sports stars are stationed, they are the dominant species. Users love Tinder because it is so easy. There is no tedious setting up of a profile or other hindrances. It suggests people in the area for a like or a dislike. It’s all anonymous at this stage, so no hard feelings. When two likes connect, they can hook up and chat. If they want to take it from there…well, that’s up to them.
For prime physical specimens who can hurl themselves down mountains at breakneck speed, using Tinder is a walk in the park. And it has caught on like wildfire in the Olympic village. After all, there is nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do. It’s a whole new way to get the pulse racing and some sparks flying.
Anderson admits she had to delete her account to get back on focus for her event, as it was proving too much of a distraction. “There are some real cuties on there” she confessed. Now with her gold medal safely in the bag, the star of the women’s snowboard slopestyle is free again to swipe and survey the Tinder scene. There’s a lot of talent in the Sochi vicinity, and not all of it comes under the label of “sporting.”
While the athletes have been preparing most of their lives for their debut at Sochi, Tinder has only been around for fifteen months. It caught on just as would-be daters were getting fed up with the conventional dating sites. Its key asset is its simplicity. All it does is use GPS to show up who’s in the vicinity. The rest is up to the users. Tinder does not have to stand by any fake promises to link compatible people, it doesn’t use complex algorithms to matchmake. It leaves it up to choice and it works on the premise that first impressions count. Another little bonus is that it links to Facebook to show if there any mutual friends in the network.
For the many stars of snowsports gathered at Sochi, Tinder is proving an ‘appy way to spark up some heat, and maybe even some love in a cold climate.
By Kate Henderson