Sochi 2014: Hazel Irvine slams cyber-bullies as Team GB skater Elise Christie is disqualified again

Twitter trolls have "absolutely no respect for the levels of effort and dedication it takes to become an Olympian," said the BBC sports presenter

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Sochi 2014: Hazel Irvine slams cyber-bullies as Team GB skater Elise Christie is disqualified again
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Paul Jones

Team GB short track skater Elise Christie revealed she has been the victim of cyber-bullying after she missed out on a silver medal on Thursday following her disqualification from the 500m final.

It has been a tough week for the 23-year-old, who shared the information in a trackside interview this morning, having just been disqualified from a 1500m heat for straying millimetres outside the width of the finishing line.

“I’ve had a few people threatening me,” Christie told interviewer Jason Mohammad. “Cyber-bullying basically, so it’s been a tough few days”.

“Obviously I find [the disqualifications] hard but it’s not all about the medals, I’ve just got to keep pushing through. I’ve had quite a lot of abuse over the internet to deal with, it’s been tough as well. So I’m finding it quite hard.”

The Scottish athlete, who was visibly upset as she discussed her experiences, is understood to have shut down her Twitter account at the end of last week after consulting with Team GB officials.

Back in the BBC studio, presenter Hazel Irvine made no secret of her disdain for the online bullies.

“It might be a brave new world [social media] but it’s absolutely baffling, that brave new world, at times,” she said.

“Charming – people out there with absolutely no respect for the levels of effort and application and dedication that it takes to become an Olympian, never mind get to an Olympic final.

“You do have to wonder sometimes, don’t you?”

Christie crossed the line second in the 500m final on Thursday but was disqualified after officials decided she had been responsible for a crash in the first lap which floored her and two of the four other athletes competing.

Her Winter Olympics is not over yet, though, with the 1,000m, her strongest event, still to come.


 


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