Team GB Winter Olympic 2018 athletes: Elise Christie

Age: 27

Event: Short track speed skating


When can I watch Elise Christie compete in the Winter Olympics?

Elise Christie's first shot at a medal in the women's 500m short track ended in heartbreak when she crashed out while fighting for position in the closing stages.

Then in the 1500m, she crashed again in the semi-final, and had to be carried off the ice on a stretcher.

Despite these cruel setbacks, she is set to compete in her third and final event of the Winter Olympics, the 1,000m short track speed skating. She revealed in an Instagram video (above) that she had managed to train on Tuesday morning ahead of the event, and is hoping to take part.

Check out the timings for Elise Christie's final event below; watch live on TV on the BBC and Eurosport.

  • The 1000m short track speed skating heats begin on Tuesday 20th February at 10am on BBC1 and Eurosport 2. Christie is scheduled to race in heat five at 10.12am.
  • The quarter-finals, semis and grand final take place on Thursday 22nd February from 10am on BBC1.
  • The quarter-finals start at 10.14am, the semi-finals at 10.51am, and the final is at 11.29am.

Who is Elise Christie?

Elise Christie will write one of the great comeback tales in the annals of British sport should her dazzling speed on the ice bring our very own Blade Runner the gold medals that evaded her with such cruelty at the last Olympics in Sochi, Russia, four years ago.

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It is as good to see the flying Scot smiling again now, as it was painful to witness her torment in 2014 when, in a tale of misfortune almost too wretched to believe, the young short track speed skater was disqualified from three separate races – one for a technical infringement and two to debatable judging decisions – leaving her dreams of a medal in ruins.

Worse than that, she also found herself in a “living nightmare” as she faced death threats and abuse on social media from Koreans who blamed her for a collision that cost one of their own stars gold.

Christie in tears at Sochi in 2014 (Getty)

For a while, the misery of Sochi shattered Christie’s confidence. “You dream of going to the Olympics, so when it happened, I just struggled to deal with it. 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, now 27, has transformed herself into a triple world champion and, as the fastest woman on ice, Team GB’s outstanding medal hope in Pyeongchang. And behind that change of fortune is the compulsion to prove people wrong.

It has been there ever since Christie’s schooldays in Livingston, near Edinburgh, when she was called a “skeleton” for her pale features and treated as an outsider because of her passion for an alien sport.

“You don’t forget being bullied, but I think I’m a strong person now. I’ve had difficult times, but I’ve learnt to embrace failure and accept that it won’t always happen for me.”

Those thoughts spurred the Nottingham-based racer on again after Sochi, culminating in a remarkable week in Rotterdam last March when she took the 1,000m and 1500m world golds and became the first skater from outside Asia to win the overall women’s world championship for 23 years.

After Sochi, she spent time training in Korea, where she feared she would be the subject of more hatred, only to discover that she had become a hero there. They adore rough-and-tumble short track, where racers stand or fall on split-second decisions made on 1mm-thick blades at 20mph.

Christie says she doesn’t want to be remembered as the skater who cried at Sochi, but admits that the tears might come again if she doesn’t make the podium this time.


“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.” Interview by Ian Chadband