Speed skater Elise Christie's Winter Olympics ends in disqualification

Elise Christie's Winter Olympics ended in dramatic fashion as she crashed out of the women's 1000m in Pyeongchang before being disqualified.

The 27-year-old hit the ice within seconds of her heat starting. Rules dictate if there is a crash on the first lap the race must be restarted.

Despite the obvious pain she was suffering, Christie finished second in the completed race, but she was then disqualified for pushing Holland's Anna van Ruijven.

It was the culmination of a woeful Olympics for Christie, who had crashed out at two previous distances, including suffering an ankle injury on Saturday in the 1500m.

The 27-year-old hit the ice within seconds of her heat starting. Credit: AP

A dejected Christie said afterwards: "I was given the advice 'you can choose whether you want to race or not', all these risks. And I thought 'I'm at the Olympics, I've trained years for this, I'm going to give it a go'. That's what I did.

"I crashed on the first start. Someone actually hit my ankle when that happened. I was in a lot of pain. I thought maybe I can't do this now. I thought about the adrenaline and how that might take over. And it didn't. I was in a lot of pain. I thought 'just do what you can do' and I thought 'I'll move up and I moved up'.

"I thought I made some really good moves and was quite happy that I'd managed to qualify (finishing second) with such a bad ankle.

"Got my first ever yellow card, which I'm not really sure why. It's not my decision, it's not in my control. I have to take whatever the referee gives me. That's that."


This is the second consecutive Olympics in which the skater has failed to finish her three events, as she was disqualified from distances she competed in at the Sochi games four years previously.

Christie tangled with Italy's Arianna Fontana in 2014. Credit: AP
  • 13 Feb 2014: Christie is disqualified from the 500m final at the Sochi Olympics after tangling with Italy's Arianna Fontana miday through the race.

  • 15 Feb 2014: Christie suffers her second straight disqualification in Sochi due a controversial infringement at the finish line having appeared to win her 1500m heat.

  • 21 Feb 2014: Christie's calamitous Winter Games comes to an end as she is disqualified again after tangling with China's Jianrou Li on the final bend of their 1000m semi-final.

  • 13 Feb 2018: Christie cruises through her 500m quarter-final in an Olympic record time but finishes second in her semi-final after a photo-finish. That leaves her in the unfavourable fourth lane for the final and, trying to force her way through to third place on the penultimate lap, she crashes out of the race.

  • 17 Feb 2018: Christie crashes on the final bend of her 1500m semi-final, sliding into the barriers where she is attended to by medics before leaving the venue on a stretcher. Subsequent scans reveal no broken bones but she faces a race against time to be fit for her final event.

  • 20 Feb 2018: Christie makes the start line but crashes in the first few steps of her heat. She takes her place for the restart despite appearing to be in a lot of pain and produces a gutsy performance to finish in second place before being carried out of the arena. But she is denied a place in the semi-finals after being disqualified by the judges.


Many rallied behind the speed skater, who looked physically upset as he walked off the ice on Tuesday.

Skier Chemmy Alcott tweeted her support for the Scottish athlete, saying "Always a champ!" in her message.

Christie herself was quick to take to social media, retweeting support from a youngster who boated a piece of paper with the message: "Elise I think you are amazing" to which Christie responded "Love it xxx".