Speed skater Elise Christie picks up sportswoman of year award

Elise Christie shows off her award. Pic: Stewart Williams
Elise Christie shows off her award. Pic: Stewart Williams
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Lothians short-track speed skater Elise Christie has been named the 2017 Sunday Times Sportswoman of the Year in association with Vitality.

The 27-year-old from Livingston became a triple world champion earlier this year and pipped tennis player Johanna Konta, who finished second, for the award. Other women to win the accolade in the past include Olympians Jessica Ennis-Hill, Christine Ohuruogu, Laura Kenny, Sally Gunnell, Denise Lewis and Victoria Pendleton.

The award caps off a rollercoaster few years for Christie, who nearly quit the sport following death threats after the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014. She went on to dominate the World Championships in Rotterdam earlier this year and is one of the favourites to pick up a gold medal in next year’s Winter Olympics in Pyongchang.

“It feels amazing. I feel like I’ve just won the World Championships again,” said Christie. “I just didn’t even expect to be nominated so to win it is just incredible.

“I thought about quitting a few times and I wanted to change sports. I just cannot believe I turned it all around. Imagine if I had quit, I wouldn’t be standing up here, shaking my legs off right now.

“I was lucky enough to be backed by the Sky scholarship programme and through that I had a mentor in Will Greenwood. Between him and my coach, we made it through that, and he really taught me a lot about not giving up and not cutting corners. Olympic champion? That’s the goal and I definitely believe I can. It would mean so much to me, especially after fighting back and I’d love to do it for everyone else who has really supported me as well, and everyone who has helped me get to where I am.”