Did The London Olympics Really Break Grindr?

Breathe easy, Britons: the realm has been saved. Grindr is once again functional in London, following a massive outage that had been blamed on an influx of horny athletes.

It’s unclear what actually caused the outage, but over the last few days, Grindr ground to a halt in England.

Tabloids leapt on the correlation: a gay hookup app failed as competitors were arriving. It must be the Olympics’ fault! Even though there are only 18 openly gay Olympic and Paralympic athletes out of 12,602.

Isn’t it maybe a tad more likely that it’s arriving tourists, and not  athletes, who are to blame? Or that it was just a glitch in a server somewhere that had nothing to do with the Olympics at all?

Whatever the cause, Grindr CEO Joel Simkhai gave the service a little kick in the pants and it’s back up and running. The company has also offered a free week of service to their paid members, so enjoy.

British readers, have you been experiencing outages? More importantly, have you hooked up with any sexy sports stars? Pics or it didn’t happen.

Photos: Bryan Allison

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  • Jon

    Grindr broke Grindr and then created a ridiculous rumour, which far too many media outlets swallowed whole. Priceless publicity.

  • RomanHans

    Here’s another odd news story: cardboard cutouts of David Hasselhoff are being stolen all over America! News media, don’t question this — just repeat it over and over.

  • Cam

    “”Even though there are only 18 openly gay Olympic and Paralympic athletes out of 12,602.”

    Yes, remember, only out of the closet people are gay or using a site like Grindr. (Eye Roll)

  • Joe in Savannah

    Hell…Grindr was broken here in America for a few days as well, and I didn’t get offered any free service?

  • B

    No. 1 · Jon wrote, “Grindr broke Grindr and then created a ridiculous rumour,”

    The more likely explanation: with the large influx of tourists, the cell phone networks they were using were heavily loaded and started dropping packets. Most network-based applications use “timeouts” (the technical term) to trigger exception handling for cases such as a connection being lost instead of being shut down properly. Since these exceptions don’t occur very often, the software that handles the exceptions is often not tested as well as one would like. Grindr might have uncovered some hard-to-reproduce bugs that were quickly fixed or might simply have changed the timeout values to allow for longer delays due to unusually heavily loaded networks. If enough additional users showed up, they might have simply had to add more memory to the servers or increase the number of servers that grindr uses for London.

    While the “horny athletes” might not be the cause (and it is a lot more than 12 – those are just the gay ones talented enough to expect people to be interested in a press release, and then there are all the “support” people), the large influx of grindr users could certainly be an issue.

  • Michael

    Yes, because only .15% of the athletes are gay!!! Sorry, I’m a big numbers geek, ie they come easily to me, and it’s absurd to think instead of the usual BS number 3%, we have only .15% being gay.

    btw, IMHO, yes it was the Olympics that broke Grindr. I’m sure a good portion of it was the athletes too.

  • Owen

    Statistically at-least three hundred are of the Bi/Homo persuasion.

  • Cam


    As well as trainers, assistants, translators, coaches, family and friends, etc…

  • samwise

    Aren’t there thousands of people descending on London as we speak? They can’t all be straight.

  • Steve

    Even though it’s almost certainly not true, it is a great fantasy. I suppose there could be several thousand gay athletes going to the Olympics. It is probably much more likely that there are several thousand (non-olympic-athlete) gay guys who would like to meet a gay athlete. Some of those non-olympic guys could still be quite athletic, of course…

    Could be a great story line for a porn movie. Perhaps several.

  • streeteditions

    Let’s see? The last Olympics ran out of 100,000 condoms within 2 days of the Opening ceremonies. HMMMMMMM!!!! And now a Grindr app fails before they even open? My humble opinion, bring extra condoms, and extra batteries, and a spare cell phone. Plus a hell of a lot of Handi-wipes. those phones got all kinds of things on them. Oh for the days when the Olympians used only olive oil and skin! Except for the leather strapped boxers.

  • kae

    Have you seen the little rooms they live in in the olympic village and the tiny beds they’ve been complaining about? Can’t see them getting up to much in there!!! LOLOL.

  • Tom

    Actually was just in London last Weds and Thurs and even then people were complaining that messages were getting dropped left and right. Everyone who I talked to said that it has started a few days earlier which happens to coincided with the start of the influx of staff and athletes(though I did see a few olympic blazers down in Soho everyone figured it was the staff). More people were concerned about issues with transportation than Grindr though.

  • charlie_jack

    So many hot people arriving in London – so what do I do – go to Edinburgh on holiday?!?!?!?!

    Will have to see what I can find in the first week and last weekend


    @Joe in Savannah: Isn’t it annoying that Grindr is constantly down? We’re a new startup and we’ve created an app called Closur, it’s just like Grindr, except it’s totally free and we’ve had 100% up time so far.

    Give us a try! Closer men at closur.com

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