Speed Skating

Elise Christie

Last Updated: 20/03/14 9:57am

Elise Christie: Took part in her second Winter Olympics in 2014

Elise retained her European 1000m title this season

Elise had her first experience of the Winter Olympics in 2010 in Vancouver

Elise got into speed skating relatively late after starting out as a figure skater

Elise was born in Livingston but moved down to Nottingham to pursue her dream of skating at the Winter Olympics

Elise was born in Livingston but moved down to Nottingham to pursue her dream of skating at the Winter Olympics

As a very active child, my mum encouraged me to put my energy into sport so at the age of seven I took up figure skating. After figure skating for many years I fancied trying another ice sport, so as a hobby I took up speed skating at the age of 12.

Fact File

  • DOB: 13/08/1990
    Event: Short Track Speed Skating
    Hometown: Livingston
    International Debut: 2005
  • 2008: World Junior Championships 500m silver
    2009: European Championships 3000m relay gold
    2010: World Cup 1000m bronze
    2010: European Championships 1500m silver
    2010: European Championships 3000m Super Final silver
    2010: Winter Olympics 500m -11th, 1000m - 19th, 1500m - 20th
    2011: World Cup 1000m silver
    2012: World Cup 1000m gold
    2012: World Cup 1500m silver
    2013: European Championships 1500m gold
    2013: European Championships 1000m gold
    2013: World Cup 1000m silver
    2013: World Cup 1500m gold
    2013: World Championships 1000m bronze
    2013: World Cup bronze
    2014: European Championships 1000m gold
    2014: European Championships overall silver
    2014: European Championships 3000m relay silver
I loved it; it was my bit of fun for the week to get away from the seriousness of my figure skating. So once a week I could get on the ice and didn't have to be elegant and appearance focused, I could stick a helmet on and bomb round the ice: feel the wind in my hair! At the age of 15 I started to figure skate less and had begun to lose my love for the sport. I entered the British Championships for speed skating in April, and was fortunately selected for the British team. I couldn't believe it as I had never been on the development team so the national squad was a big step. Especially seeing as you had to relocate to Nottingham to be part of this amazing opportunity.

"It is such a nice feeling to have someone put me forward for something like this, I think it is good that speed skating has now caught the eyes of people who can make a huge difference to the sport."

Elise Christie

After a lot of thought (and encouragement from my mother) I decided to pack up and leave my little town in Scotland and move to the city of Nottingham, not everyone receives such a great opportunity and I am very lucky that I did. I competed in my first senior World Championships that same season and I then knew that I had to target skating in Vancouver 2010. A few years down the line and I had qualified for the Olympic Games. This was such a mind blowing experience; this led to a massive change in my attitude. On completion of the games I decided that it was time to become a different level of athlete. I now wanted to not just go to the Olympics, but I wanted to go there with a medal-winning chance. I knew a lot had to change and I met with all the members of support staff to discuss the different little changes I could make to get myself there, I set a yearly plan and finally I changed my mind-set; I decided it could be me and that I had to give myself the best opportunity I could. I believe that if a person does everything they possibly can to become an Olympic medallist and it doesn't work out, then you cannot be disappointed. I will never be someone that will say 'I'm going to win a medal at the games', but I can guarantee I will do everything I can to give myself the best chance possible. It is such a nice feeling to have someone put me forward for something like the Sky Sports Scholarship, I think it is good that speed skating has now caught the eyes of people who can make a huge difference to the sport. I had an amazing season last year and I will remember how good it felt for the rest of my life! Let's hope this will be a life changing year!