The 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics was a difficult time for Elise Christie, the Team GB short track speed skater. Not only were her hopes of winning a medal dashed when she was disqualified from three races – one for a technical infringement and two to debatable judging decisions – but she also faced death threats.
In an interview in this week’s issue of Radio Times, 27-year-old Christie describes the “living nightmare” she endured as she received threats and abuse on social media from Koreans who blamed her for a collision that cost one of their own stars a gold medal.
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“You dream of going to the Olympics, so when it happened, I just struggled to deal with it,” she says.
“It took time to get over but I asked for help, and that was a really big step for me. I still don’t know how competing at the Olympics, doing a sport I love, led to death threats. But I know now it’s just people on the internet.”
Christie said she doesn’t want to be remembered as the skater who cried at Sochi, but she might become tearful at the forthcoming games in Pyeongchang if she misses out on a medal again.
“I don’t mind being emotional because I hate losing, it’s always going to make me emotional, that will never change. But I don’t want to be remembered as that girl who was bullied after the Olympics.
“I want people to remember me for my sport and my achievements. I don’t look at medal targets and listen to other people’s expectations. I really want to win and I believe in myself and what I’m doing.”
Read interviews with Elise and Team GB’s other top contenders in the new issue of Radio Times magazine, which comes in three different covers and includes a free 16-day guide to the Winter Olympics