Elise Christie retires after failure to qualify for Beijing 2022 - 'part of my heart will always be missing'

Elise Christie has announced her retirement from short-track just two weeks after her bid to qualify for a fourth Winter Olympics in Beijing next year effectively came to an end.

Elise Christie has announced her retirement from short-track speed-skating
Elise Christie has announced her retirement from short-track speed-skating

The 31-year-old Scot, who famously crashed out of all three of her races in Pyeongchang in 2018, admitted "part of my heart will always be missing" having failed to crown her career with an Olympic medal.

Christie won three world titles in Rotterdam in 2017, becoming both the first British and European woman to do so. She won four world silver and five bronze medals, and 10 European titles.

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Christie said on social media: "I will have a lot to say and I know a lot of people will have lots of questions, but now it's time to announce my retirement from short track speed skating.

"Part of my heart will always be missing because I never achieved my end goal. But I leave this sport knowing it's left in good hands, with skaters capable of doing what I didn't.

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"I changed this sport in this country, I defied odds, never made excuses for having less than my opponents, and I walk away with over 70 World Cup, European and World Championship medals."

Christie's eventful Olympic career began in 2010, and four years later in Sochi she reported receiving death threats from South Korean fans who judged her responsible for a crash involving favourite Park Seung-hi in the 500 metres final.

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Christie headed to Pyeongchang as a hot medal favourite but crashed in the 500m final, and also fell in the 1500m semi-final, requiring hospital treatment on an injured ankle.

She returned to the track for the 1000m but fell early in her heat, prompting a re-start, after which she crashed again and was subsequently disqualified.

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Christie decided to continue in a bid to qualify for Beijing but was hampered by an ankle injury and failed to reach the semi-finals in any qualification races, effectively ruling her out of contention.

Christie, from Livingston, said she was "taking a new venture down a different path".

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She added: "I am not a decorated Olympian but I am a decorated athlete."

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