Elise Christie: An Olympic tragedy on ice

A dejected Elise Christie after crashing at the start of her heat Tuesday.

Story highlights

  • Elise Christie was disqualified from her 1,000m speed skating heat
  • Christie crashed out of both the 500 and 1,500m earlier in the Games
  • The British skater was disqualified from all three events at Sochi 2014

(CNN)If at first you don't succeed, then try and try again. And if it doesn't work that time, try again. And again.

British speed skater Elise Christie is nothing if not persistent.
"I'm not crying. I'm just coughing," Christie insisted Tuesday after the latest chapter of an Olympic career that's mixed physical pain and emotional turmoil.
    By any standard, Christie's relationship with the Games is heartbreaking. A world and European champion, she arrived in Pyeongchang a contender for gold in three short track events -- the 500, 1,000 and 1,500 meters.
    But she's leaving without a single medal. Disqualification from Tuesday's 1,000m heats followed heavy crashes in both the 500m final and the semifinal of the 1,500m.
    It was a familiar tale of woe for the 27-year-old, who was disqualified from all three events at Sochi 2014, triggering abuse on social media that prompted her to delete her Twitter account.
    Gus Kenworthy on the Olympics and that TV kiss
    Gus Kenworthy


      Gus Kenworthy on the Olympics and that TV kiss


    Gus Kenworthy on the Olympics and that TV kiss 01:57
    But Christie arrived at PyeongChang 2018 battle hardened. She's a world record holder in the 500m and a world champion over 1,000 and 1,500 meters.
    The stage was set for Christie to right the wrongs of four years ago. She was even back on Twitter.
    But, after setting an Olympic record during her first race of the Games, thing's quickly unraveled -- she slipped out of the 500m last Tuesday before sliding out of the 1,500m on Saturday.
    It was Saturday's painful crash that injured her ankle, casting doubt over her participation in Tuesday's 1,000m competition.
    She got to the start line, but it went from bad to worse for Christie, who fell on the first corner of her heat after a collision and limped gingerly across the ice before the race was restarted.
    She recovered to finish second before being carried out of the arena, seemingly safely through to Thursday's quarterfinals. But officials had other ideas, disqualifying her for causing two separate collisions during an eventful race.
    "Off the start one of the girls stood on my ankle, which is injured, so I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to skate," Christie said after the race. "So I skated round the middle just to see how I was feeling.
    "I thought about the adrenaline that I would go through and thought it might take over, so I just tried. So I went slower off the start, I caught up, then I was just trying to make moves and I thought I was making quite good moves."
    However, Christie's Olympics were brought to an abrupt end when she was issued with a yellow card, much to her dismay.
    "I was really happy that I'd qualified," she added. "But then obviously got the yellow card, which I was not expecting at all."
    If she's bumped and bruised, Christie isn't quitting anytime soon.
    "I'm in a different place to Sochi. This is just short track and I'm a world champion and a world record holder and I've proved myself. I just really wanted to bring it home for Britain.
    "It would have meant the world to me. I'm devastated that I couldn't."
    She told BBC Sport: "It's just frustrating having to wait four more years -- it just wasn't meant to be this time.
    "I would just like to thank all the kids who have sent me messages saying they are inspired."
    No tears, then. And don't be surprised to see Christie back on the ice for Beijing 2022.