Elise Christie may add long track in last throw of Olympic dice

Elise Christie is still determined to win an Olympic medal in short track. Picture: PA.
Elise Christie is still determined to win an Olympic medal in short track. Picture: PA.
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Elise Christie is considering contesting long track as well as her specialist short track speed skating to end her Winter
Olympics hoodoo.

After striking out three times in successive Olympics in 500m, 1,000m and 1,500m short track events, Christie believes long track offers some insurance should calamity strike a third time in Beijing.

“Its gone through my mind for many years and I’ve done it as part of my training,” she said. “It’s an easier sport for sure. Whoever goes the fastest wins and unless you make a silly mistake you aren’t going to get a penalty.

“Long track isn’t funded so I’d have to move abroad. It’s a lot to think about but it’s still skating and that’s the sport that I love. It’s not off the cards and I’ll look into it. “If I do it, I’d probably try to do both long and short track. I still want that Olympic medal in short track because it’s the only thing I don’t have. I would come back and do both 
happily.”

Christie, right, was ready to retire from the ice had she won a medal here and convert to another sport, possibly cycling. That won’t happen now. Forty-eight hours after her latest disaster, disqualification in the 1,000m, she is still processing events.

“I can’t believe that the Olympics has ended like this. I’ve done hundreds of races in the last ten years where I’ve been on top of that podium. I’ve won world and European titles and medals. The odds of it going this way were so slim and that means it isn’t over.

“I probably wanted to retire. I thought I’d medal and then I could because I’d achieved what I wanted and maybe I could have a go at another sport. My last goal was to be an Olympic champion, there was nothing else to do if I’d achieved that here. It didn’t work out and while I’ve thought about other sports, my heart lies with short track.

“I was always very interested in cycling. I spoke to British Cycling after Sochi but I decided to stick with short track. This sport deserves something better and if I can get that medal more people will want to come and do it and that will breed more medallists.”