Elise Christie: Older, wiser and keeping the dream alive for glory in Sochi
Focused: Elise Christie is chasing further glory
Metro kicks off its countdown to the Winter Olympics next year with the first of speed-skating medal hope Elise Christie’s regular columns.
At the age of 15, I relocated to Nottingham from Scotland to join the GB Short Track team. I was lucky to get such an amazing opportunity.
I had a background in figure skating but developed a love and talent for speed skating, competing in my first senior world championships that same year, and I then knew that I had to do everything I could to try and get an Olympic medal.
Fast forward to today, I’m 22 now and it’s the run-up to the 2014 Games in Sochi.
The team and I have had a challenging four years preparing for the big event and qualification is only five months away.
Not a day goes by that we don’t all dream about becoming Olympic medalists – everyone’s drive to succeed is going through the roof.
I qualified for the 2010 Vancouver Games and that experience helped me grow as an athlete. Coming out of those Games my attitude changed.
I went from wanting to take part, to wanting to become a medalist and make history. I worked hard and made changes. I became European champion, World Cup champion and a world bronze medalist.
This year has been one of the most amazing of my life but also one of the hardest.
It’s the first time I’ve experienced pressure going into a competition but I’ve learned from it.
The support of the team, my family and the public helped me achieve what I used to think was unachievable. I’m so thankful for the support.
I believe if a person does everything they can to achieve their dreams they cannot be disappointed with the end result. I won’t say, ‘I will win an Olympic medal’ but I’ll do everything in my power to make my dream a reality.
Being part of an Olympic Games is the experience of a lifetime. It’s out of this world to feel like you have your country behind you and encouraging you.
Speed skating is a sport that’s full of ups and downs, quite literally. You can be out in front at a lap to go and fall. It’s intense, fast and dangerous – I get such an adrenaline rush.
I really encourage people to watch the sport and have a go. If you can deal with the cold, you are guaranteed a fun day.