Great Britain short track speed skater Elise Christie has spoken for the first time about the night she was raped as a 19-year-old in Nottingham.
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph ahead of the release of her autobiography titled Resilience, the three-time world champion explained her desire to try and help other victims by revealing her own sexual assault ordeal.
The incident occurred after she had returned from the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games with her attacker slipping her a date-rape drug in a bar before taking her back to his house.
“There are not many people I’ve spoken to about it – I had to even tell my mum because she wasn’t aware,” 31-year-old Scot Christie told The Daily Telegraph.
“I felt victim-shamed, almost, by what happened. I wasn’t left in a bush, battered and beaten up, so back then I thought, ‘It’s not rape’.”
Christie, who represented Great Britain at the Vancouver, Sochi and Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, has been open in the past about her struggles with mental health having received both abuse and death threats on social media.
Back in 2018 around Christmas time Christie contemplated suicide, having suffered huge disappointment at that year’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang where she suffered falls in the 500m and 1500m before a disqualification in the 1000m.
Four years earlier she had been targeted by South Korean fans online following a collision with Park Seung-hi at the Sochi Games.
Christie continued: “For me, it was a big step to even talk about the assault in the first place.
“I’ve always talked about the fact that I want to help people. There are so many women who have gone through or who might be going through this same situation right now and won’t speak up either.”
With another winter Games on the horizon, the Scot is feeling optimistic ahead of trying to qualify for the February tournament in Beijing.
After returning from three previous Olympics without a medal, Livingston-born Christie knows making it to China is more than being on the podium.
“In Beijing, honestly it’s just about finishing the competition,” she said.
“There is not one distance at the Olympic Games that I have finished. I know that physically I’m not going to be what I was, but I still have the ability to medal. But it won’t just be about medalling.
“I also want to be the girl who helped others turn their lives around and the girl who has turned her life around and has come back. That’s why I try to set that example.”
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