THE mum of Livingston speed skater Elise Christie said Team GB has offered her daughter extra security and psychological support after she was threatened by internet trolls.
The 23-year-old shut down her Twitter and official Facebook accounts after she was subjected to abuse following her disqualification in the final of the 500m at the Sochi
She revealed the abuse in an emotional interview after another penalty in the heats of the 1500m on Saturday put her out of contention for a medal in that event.
Nurse Angela Wright, 47, is in Russia to support her daughter and said: “Elise phoned us last night and so did the manager of the squad and said there was a problem and we all met this morning.
“Unfortunately, she saw all the messages and she was very upset. She said they were basically threatening her. It seems crazy, especially when it’s the Olympic Games. It’s supposed to be fun.”
“But I know that appropriate support has been put in place for Elise with regards to psychological additional support but also security support. That’s the only questions I was interested in, is she getting supported? It’s my wee girl and I’m not happy at all as you can imagine. You just have to hope it’s idle threats just like you get in other sports, I suppose. But I’m more than happy with what the manager of the British squad had to say.”
The abuse is believed to have started with Korean Twitter users, blasting the young athlete for sending Park Seung-Hi sprawling.
The Korean skater recovered to finish the race and was bumped up to the bronze-medal position when Christie was pushed down the field.
But that did not stop comments included threats of sexual violence and others called her a “bitch” and “f*****g idiot”.
Christie, who prefers the 1000m event which starts tomorrow, had looked relaxed before putting in a final burst which saw her edge Italy’s Arianna Fontana in a photo-finish before she was penalised and placed in last position.
Within minutes of the finish of the 1500m heat it emerged that Christie had been penalised for an infringement at the finish line.
Fighting back tears, Christie said she had been the victim of threatening messages on social media following her first disqualification and has since deleted her Twitter account.
“I have had a few people threatening me, It’s been a tough few days. I’m finding it quite hard.”
”Speaking about her disqualification, she said: “I’m gobsmacked.
At an IOC briefing, spokesman Mark Adams, said he was aware the GB team and athletes had talked about social media
“Clearly, she has had the support she needs and I don’t think there is any kind of major damage done.”