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Speed skater who received death threats at Sochi Olympics crashes out again

Business Insider logo Business Insider 5 days ago Alan Dawson

Elise Christie © Provided by Business Insider Elise Christie Elise Christie © Provided by Business Insider Elise Christie

History just repeated itself for one of Great Britain's medal hopefuls at the Winter Olympics.

Speed skater Elise Christie crashed out of the 500-metre short track speed skating event on Tuesday, four years after a similar tumble at the last winter games in Sochi.

Christie cruised through the women's 500-metre quarter-final and semi-final stages at the Gangneung Ice Arena in South Korea. But during a fiercely competed final, she was thrown off balance by Dutch rival Yara van Kerkhof.

"I was knocked over," the devastated skater said in a tearful interview with the BBC after the race. "I can't see living with this feeling."

The defeat will have been a painful one as she crashed out in similar fashion four years ago at the 2014 Winter Olympics.

At the Sochi games she hit the deck, took out a South Korean athlete, and then received death threats so severe she had to close her Twitter account. She later sought help from a psychologist.

"I had a crash at the games [in Sochi]," she explained recently to the BBC. "The Korean girl was taken out and I then received a lot of death threats and online abuse from South Koreans."

Speaking to The Scotsman last year, Christie added: "Eventually, I had to go and ask for some help. I struggled with the fact that my sport led to death threats. I couldn't link how that worked."

But between Sochi and Pyeongchang, she said Korean fans "were really sorry for how they treated me" and forgave her. "People became fans," she said.

Despite falling in the 500-metre short track speed skating final, Christie has two more chances to get a medal. She contests the 1,500 short track speed skating event on Saturday before the 1,000-metre event next Tuesday.

Related slideshow: Best of 2018 Winter Olympics (Provided by photo services) 

Martin Fourcade, right, of France narrowly wins the gold medal from silver medalist Simon Schempp, left, of Germany during the Men's 15km Mass Start Biathlon on Feb. 18 in Pyeongchang, South Korea. 2018 Winter Olympics


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