James Ihaka

James Ihaka is a Herald reporter based in Hamilton.

Love search an Olympic hit

Kiwi snowboarder causes a stir at Sochi after looking for romance via Tinder dating app.

Rebecca Torr's story of her search for an Olympian lover has been picked up by Britain's Daily Mail. Photo / Getty Images
Rebecca Torr's story of her search for an Olympian lover has been picked up by Britain's Daily Mail. Photo / Getty Images

Kiwi snowboarder Rebecca Torr has caused a stir at the Winter Olympics, after revealing she was desperate to find an Olympian lover at the Sochi games.

When the blonde 23-year-old arrived in Russia she fired up dating app Tinder on her phone and found a few of her fellow athletes had found the 21st century dating tool.

The location-based dating app, that has been in use only since September, lets users browse for prospective partners nearby through profiles uploaded to the service.

Like speed-dating but without the face-to-face meeting, fast small-talk and rejection, users can check out the nearby possibilities and with a swipe on their touch screens can accept or ditch them.

Miss Torr, who is from Te Puke but lives in Breckenridge, Colorado, wrote on her Twitter feed: "It seems so far that not many Olympians use Tinder. Just wanna match with the Jamaican bobsled team."


Despite her initial disappointment, Miss Torr's chances of meeting a match online got a boost when the Olympic Village Daily newspaper, read by athletes at the games, ran her tweet.

"Hopefully it brings me more matches and closer to the Jamaicans!"' she joked.

It did and by Friday her luck improved: "The Jamaicans are here, I even talked to one."


The story was then picked up by the Mail Online, the website of the UK's Daily Mail which receives more than 130 million visitors a month.

Last night Miss Torr competed in a "second chance" women's slopestyle semifinal.

She and fellow Kiwis Christy Prior, Stefi Luxton and Shelly Gotlieb earlier missed out on the final. Miss Torr came seventh in her heat.

TMZ reported that the International Olympic Committee is handing out about 100,000 condoms to the 2800 athletes at the games, so if each took their share they would have nearly 36 apiece.

What is Tinder?

*A location-based app that lets users scroll through pictures of other users who are nearby.
*Tinder finds a user's location via GPS on the person's smartphone then links to their Facebook profile to access their first name, age, selected photos and some Facebook preferences.
*It then finds potential matches nearby. Searches can be narrowed down by searching by age and distance.
*If the user likes another they can "like'' them. If not, they can "pass'' without them knowing.
*If the person the user likes also likes them back then a private chat thread can start between the two.

Click here for our full Winter Olympics coverage.

- NZ Herald

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