Elise Christie represented Team GB in short track speed skating at the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympic Games. These were her debut Olympic Games, where she competed in the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events, placing 11th, 20th and 19th respectively.
Elise switched to short track from figure skating because she preferred the sports objectivity and knowing that crossing the line first meant she was the winner. It was Forth Valley coach Brain Reed who nurtured her talent until she was fifteen, at which point she relocated from her home in Livingston to Nottingham to train full time at the National Performance Centre.
The Scot relished being part of the national squad and her determination was partly due to her mother, who had not been able to fulfil her own sporting ambitions in long jump after a recurring knee injury forced her from the sport at fifteen. Elise wanted to see how far she could make it in sport seeing as she had been given the amazing opportunity to compete in a sport she loved.
Vancouver marked a turning point for Elise, who realised that she didn’t want to just compete at the next Olympics, she wanted to win medals. Elise made a conscious decision to give her all to the sport and implemented drastic changes to her lifestyle to achieve her dream.
It was the opening World Cup of the 2012/2013 season that first saw these changes pay off for Elise. Her silver medal in the 1000m in Calgary was the first of eight world cup medals that led to her ending the season with a number one world ranking in 1000-metres.
Last season Elise celebrated the most successful season of any British female speed skater. In addition to her World cup accolades, she also became double European Champion and won Britain’s first ever individual women’s World Championships medal with 1000-metre bronze in Debrecen.
She lives with her boyfriend and Sochi teammate Jack Whelbourne, along with her two cats Lilly and Tuts, and Jack Russell-Pomeranian cross called Benji. Elise confesses to having a number of hobbies, which in the past have included singing and sleeping. She admits to having little time for anything but skating, but given the opportunity she loves arts and crafts.
Elise is also creative when it comes to her hair colour. In the past year her hair has gone from bubblegum pink, to green, to purple and electric blue; she’s yet to reveal what colour she will choose for February…