Christie to do everything in her power to medal in Sochi
December 16, 2013 16:09 pm
Elise Christie knows first-hand that nothing can be taken for granted in sport, especially when your chosen sport is short track speed skating.
Christie's selection for her second Olympics was confirmed by the British Olympic Association today but she travels to Sochi a very different athlete to the teenager that made her debut in Vancouver.
But her dreams almost ended just a few weeks ago after a heavy fall left her bloodied, bruised but thankfully not broken at a qualifying event in Russia.
"I couldn't feel anything and I went into panic mode," she admitted. "I saw a big bruise where I'd fallen into a blade and I couldn't move my leg.
"I did think that could be my season over before it's begun and it was pretty scary thinking that the Olympics might not happen for me. Thankfully it soon became clear that it wasn't too bad.
"I understand people are going to look at me and think of me as a medal contender and I know about the pressure.
"But anything can happen in short track, although I'll do everything in my power to achieve my dream and make winning a medal a reality."
Indeed, the 23-year old was back on the ice one day later to win a bronze medal, her first World Cup podium of the season providing a timely confidence boost.
Great Britain haven't won a short track medal at the Olympics since Nicky Gooch's 500m bronze at the 1994 Games in Lillehammer.
And Christie knows the pressure is on after 2013 season to remember.
"It's my second Games and I learned a lot from Vancouver," she added. "Most importantly learned that I didn't just want to go to the Games and finish in the top 20 or the top ten, I wanted to get that medal and stand on the podium. That's why you do all the training and make all the sacrifices.
"When I came home from Canada I started thinking about Sochi straight away and changed my focus with my training and what I eat and drink. I was just 19 then but I had to stop being a teenager and start being an elite athlete.
"I realised that taking part in the Olympics wasn't enough me for me. And since then I've become a European champion, World Cup champion and world bronze medallist, so I know what can happen if you set goals and work hard."
Christie admits to being an obsessive perfectionist, something she calls her biggest strength and weakness. She will race across three events in Russia with her specialty distance, the 1,000m, her last event.
"I think about it every day and some days it's really motivating but some days you start thinking 'I can't be ready' and it holds you back," she added.
"It's mentally very hard when you’re training and exhausted and trying to perform to your best in every session because this season means so much."
© Sportsbeat 2013