Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay backs Elise Christie after her second Winter Olympics finished without a medal
Team GB chef de mission Mike Hay hopes Elise Christie will compete for Great Britain at the next Winter Olympics following her second Games without a medal.
Christie was disqualified from the women’s 1,000m short track speed skating heats, ending her hopes of winning a Winter Olympic medal in Pyeongchang.
It follows crashes in the 500m final and 1,500m semi-final as well as disqualification in all three of her events at Sochi in 2014.
But Hay wants to see the 27-year-old return in Beijing in four years’ time to claim a first Winter Olympics medal.
Elise Christie's agonising Winter Olympics is over as she was disqualified from the 1,000m event following a restart after falling in the first lap
He said: “It wasn’t to be this Olympics but I’ve heard that in the mixed zone she talked positively about Beijing and I’d love her to be there and to finish her career on a high.
“Not many athletes of her calibre have to go through such a difficult period both in Sochi and here [in Pyeongchang].
“I hope she’s got the determination to stay on as it would be incredible if she does. She’s young enough to fulfil her dreams and win an Olympic medal.
“It’s a tough story and it’s a tough ending for Elise Christie. I feel deeply disappointed for her but for Elise, the whole of Team GB are incredibly proud of her – to show the guts and determination to come back to make that start line, that’s been a tough 48 hours.”
Christie passed a late fitness test on Tuesday, after she damaged her ankle during Saturday’s 1,500m semi-final but the Scot looked to be in pain throughout the 1,000m heats.
Hay revealed the decision to race was Christie’s, after she was stretchered off the ice and taken to hospital just three days ago.
“I’m absolutely delighted the team managed to work so hard to get her there,” he said. “We had the best medical assessment that we could get; she was clear medically and the decision was down to Elise.
“I think you could see at the start line that she was handicapped in her start but in the 1,000m you have a little bit of time, it’s not a fast start as such.
“She had the acceleration, but whether she could have gone more rounds – we had a couple of days between now and the next round, which would have worked in her favour.
“She’s a world champion, she’s a proud girl and she wanted to get on that start line and leave here on a high. Sadly it wasn’t to be but we’re very proud of her fantastic attempt.”