13 August 1990 |
|Height||1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)|
|Weight||54 kg (119 lb)|
|Sport||Short track speed skating|
|Achievements and titles|
|Personal best(s)||500 m: 42.335 (WR)
1000 m: 1:28.723
1500 m: 2:18.696
3000 m: 5:05.419
Elise Christie (born 13 August 1990) is a British short track speed skater from Scotland. She is coached by Nicky Gooch and she specialises in the 1000m event. She is ten times a European gold medalist, including two overall European titles in 2015 and 2016. In the 2017 World Championships in Rotterdam she won world titles in the 1000m and 1500m events, as well as the overall gold, the first British woman and first European woman to do so.
She was originally a figure skater but took up speed skating when she was about twelve years old. She then chose to stick with speed skating at the age of fifteen, when she moved to Nottingham to train full-time at the National Ice Centre. She has given her reason for switching her ice discipline as "I just didn't like the fact figure skating has judging. I prefer the first over the line, wins the race."
Christie retained her 1000m title from the previous year at the 2014 European Championships in Dresden. She also won a silver medal as part of the British team in the 3000m relay, and narrowly missed out on a medal in the 1500m where she finished fourth. As a result, she took the overall silver medal behind gold medallist Jorien ter Mors from the Netherlands.
At the 2013 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Debrecen, Hungary, Christie won a bronze medal in 1000m. In addition Christie was the 1000 metres champion for the 2012–13 World Cup season.
At the 2015 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Moscow, Russia, Christie took two silvers in the 500m and 1000m, becoming the first British skater to win two medals at a World Short Track Speed Skating Championships.
At the 2016 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Seoul, South Korea, Christie took a total of four medals, winning the bronze in the 1500m before taking a silver in the 1000m and a bronze in the 3000m to take the overall bronze.
At the 2017 World Short Track Speed Skating Championships in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, she became the first British woman to win a speed skating world championship when she took the gold medal in the 1500m. She also finished fourth in the 500m before taking a second gold in the 1000m and a bronze in the 3000m to clinch the overall gold, becoming the first non-Asian skater to win the women's overall world title in 23 years.
Earlier that season, on 13 November 2016, Elise Christie set a new world record for the 500m short track speed skating event, clocking 42.335 seconds in the quarter-finals at the second World Cup meeting of the season in Salt Lake City. In recognition of this achievement, Christie was hailed as the "fastest woman on ice" and a special banner celebrating her success was unveiled at the National Ice Centre.
At the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, Christie entered the 500m, 1000m and 1500m events with high hopes of winning a medal. She reached the A final of the 500m, but was disqualified when she collided with Italian skater Arianna Fontana, finishing eighth after being ranked below the B finalists. She was also harassed on Twitter by South Koreans who accused her of causing Park Seung-Hi to crash. This led to calls from the BOA to improve the policing of comments made on athletes' Twitter and Facebook accounts and for Christie to close her Twitter account.
She competed in the 1500m event two days later, where she was disqualified in the heats for not crossing the finishing line, reportedly only 1cm off the permitted leeway. Christie qualified for the 1000m quarter-finals by comfortably winning her heat, and she won her quarter-final race; but she was then disqualified for the third time, in the semi-final, after colliding with China's Jianrou Li on the final turn of the race.
At the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea, Christie set the first Olympic record of the games during the qualification round of the 500m event, with a time of 42.872 seconds. This was broken a few minutes later in the same round by Choi Min-jeong by 0.002 seconds. Christie regained the Olympic record in the quarter-finals with a time of 42.703 seconds, only to lose it again to Choi Min-jeong in the semi-finals. Christie finished second in her semi-final before crashing out in the 500 metre final as Yara Van Kerkhof's skate clipped her hand when Van Kerkhof was under-taking her; Christie finished fourth while Van Kerkhof took silver.
In the 1500 metre event, Christie finished first in her heat but crashed out of her semi-final race in a collision with Li Jinyu, for which she was disqualified. Christie was taken to hospital with an injury to her right ankle, putting her participation in the 1000m event in doubt.
In her 1000m heat, Christie fell before the first corner, causing the race to be restarted. On the second attempt, Christie finished second, qualifying for the quarter-finals, but was carried off the track in pain by her coach. However, the judges considered that she had committed an offence by causing two separate collision incidents, which led to her being disqualified from the event.
Christie has stated that she will return to short track speed skating for the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing. She is also considering taking up long track speed skating and could possibly compete in both short and long track in 2022.
Elise Christie was named Nottingham Sportswoman of the Year in 2013 and 2015 (and runner-up in 2014). She was named Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in 2017 in recognition of her world title success at the 2017 World Championships.
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