Speed skating star Elise Christie: I may be public enemy number one at Pyeongchang 2018

7 February 2018, 14:50

Elise Christie is a World Champion short track speed skater who suffered humiliation and misery when she was disqualified three times at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

Here, she explains how she's put her failure behind her and how she will be approaching the Pyeongchang Games so she can go home this time with her head held high.

I'm so excited. It's been four years of torture since Sochi and turning it all around.

I've had some amazing performances that I wish had been in the Olympics. Just to get out there in a few days will be so good.

I can't believe it's here now. You wait so long and it's suddenly here.

It's not redemption because for me the World Championships was my redemption. It is the hardest thing you can do in short track, become a World Champion.

For me it's more about me giving back to everyone who helped me through Sochi – UK Sport, the team around me, the public, the media – everyone who supported me through that bad time.

Winning an Olympic medal would be something they can see as well and I'd love to give back to everyone who's helped me through that.

Pressure comes with every part of this sport. It's such a hard sport to get right so I feel pressure every time I race.

But it is pressure because I just want to do well for everyone.

I feel less pressure on myself, I guess, because my dream goal was always to be World Champion and I did that. So for me, this is all about the pressure from everyone else.

I want to do well for them.

The experience last time definitely changed me. I've gone from being someone who used to risk everything to win, to someone who started accepting medals and not accepting failure and just holding back a bit.

And I'm now back to that person who just wants to win. So for me it'll be all about trying to win.

So, if that means a penalty, if that means a mess up, then I'd rather go home from the Olympics knowing that I did everything I could, than come back with a bronze medal that I've settled for.

So, I've learned to accept failure and I think that makes you race much better because you are not scared of failing, you are just thinking about winning. So, I've changed a lot since Sochi.

In Pyeongchang, in South Korea, I think some people might see me as public enemy number one but it's not like that, they just love the sport.

They are passionate about it so they boo, they cheer, they are so animated.

It's such a nice feeling to be part of that. If anything, out there, you are like a celebrity. They are just really excited to get close to you. They scream when you are near them.

I think it will be so much fun out there. It'll be not just like a short track race, it'll be like a performance in front of everyone.

I'm all for clean sport. I support it 100%, but for me I'm not really paying attention to what's going on with the Russia ban.

It's for the Russians to deal with and I just want to go out and race whoever is put in front of me and beat them and that for me is what's important.

That's all I'm caring about.