Love & Sex
What do you do if you're young, hot, athletic and in a very small, rather cold area with other people exactly like you? Use the global dating phenomenon, Tinder, of course.
US gold medal winner Jamie Anderson, 23, tells Us Weekly how the athletes spend their downtime at the 2014 Winter Olympics.
"Tinder in the Olympic Village is next level! It's all athletes. In the mountain village it's all athletes. It's hilarious. There are some cuties on there."
So that's why they're all smiling as they stand on top of the mountain about to jump/ski/snowboard to a perilous depth. They've been flirting on their phones.
Tinder, for the uninitiated, is a phone app that matches users with others in their location. It will suggest people who you can then anonymously like or dislike. When you find someone you want to connect with, if they like you back, you can talk to them. Easy enough.
It's taking the dating world by storm. Scratch that. It's taking the Olympic Village by storm, because it's not like they can go clubbing to meet someone.
"I can't wait to go out with my girlfriends and dance," Anderson said, "there's nowhere to go out here. It's been too long."
Personally, I can't think of any group of people more likely to hook up via a phone app than hundreds of athletes who've been in lockdown training for their event.
They've spent years intensely focused on one goal, and when their event is over, well, let's just say the tension in the lunchroom is palpable.
And they don't even have to approach each other the old-fashioned way.
A few swipes on Tinder and these athletes can accept or reject dating prospects without even having to stand in line for dessert. Yes, this is definitely the 2014 Olympics.
Of course, using Tinder has its downsides. It can be a little too entertaining. That's a problem if you're trying to concentrate on small tasks like, say, I don't know, winning a gold medal or something.
"There was a point where I had to be like, OK, this is way too distracting," Anderson said. "I deleted my account to focus on the Olympics."
No doubt its back up again since she won gold in the women's slopestyle on Sunday.
I'm addicted enough to my Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. If Tinder was around when I was single, I would unquestionably have been an avid user. So if you're an Olympian, surrounded by all this ... talent, and looking for a release, it would be tricky to switch off.
"Tinder is totally addictive," says Katie, 34. "I am constantly checking my phone for new matches and to see who's around. It's so compelling I now have to turn my phone off at work so I don't waste time swiping."
"I've been on holidays and it's fantastic if you don't know anyone in a new city," agrees Louise, 38. "I haven't actually met up with someone yet, but it's nice to know the choice is there if you want to."
But will Tinder find you lasting love if all you're doing is matchmaking with single people in your area?
"I use it purely as a hook-up device," says David, 36. "I just broke up with my long-term girlfriend and Tinder is a great way to meet women without having to put myself out there in a bar or go to a club. I'm not expecting to meet the love of my life."
Aha. Perfect for muscle-toned athletes spending a few weeks crammed into a small communal space and either celebrating success or commiserating over losses, then.
- Sydney Morning Herald
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