Elise Christie says she is looking forward to getting back on the ice in Salt Lake City ahead of the opening event of the ISU World Cup this weekend.
Christie went into the Sochi Olympics with high hopes of medalling but had a tumultuous time when she was disqualified in the 500, 1000 and 1500 metre races.
However, after taking overall gold at last month’s Invitation Cup, Christie admits she is enjoying the start to the season and the chance to compete again.
“I’m really looking forward to the World Cup. After the Invitation Cup my confidence has grown a lot and it really woke my body up to competing again,” she said.
“With it not being an Olympic year, the pressure is not in the same league which makes competing more fun. It’s been a hard few months of training but I feel ready to get back out there again.
“My biggest competition is probably going to be the Koreans, but as it’s the start of a new Olympic cycle, it’s likely that all the teams will have been mixed up so we can’t yet predict who will come out on top.”
Christie will be joined by Olympic 1500 metre finalist Jack Whelbourne who started his season with a second place finish at the Invitation Cup – a performance he says has been a big boost to his confidence.
“I’m a little nervous for the World Cup because it’s the first international event of the season and the pressure that comes with competing is starting to raise its head,” said Whelbourne.
“The dynamic of the team has changed this season, which knocked my confidence slightly, however my performance at the Invitation Cup has given me a boost and I feel like this year so far is the best I’ve ever skated.
“My main competition will come from the top European countries; Holland and Russia have very good teams. I’m excited to see how I’ll do in the first international competition of the season.”
© Sportsbeat 2014