Winter Olympics 2018: Elise Christie 500m Speed Skating

Olympics

ByTheMinWinterSports

Redemption (noun): an act of atoning for a fault or mistake. At Sochi in 2014, Elise Christie was adjudged to have made a number of mistakes. She received a penalty in the 500m final which denied her a silver medal. In the heats of the 1500m race, Elise was penalised again and disqualified. And in the 1000m final, Christie was once more disqualified for impeding her Chinese rival. Today, she can have her redemption.

The 27-year-old from Livingston is one of the favourites for today's 500m final of the speed skating out in Pyeongchang. She's probably Team GB's poster girl for the games. In the heats she broke an Olympic record* before going on to watch her boyfriend compete in his own race mere minutes later. It feels like her destiny is to atone for the heartache of Sochi by claiming at least one medal this time around. I'm Roddy Graham and this is the 500m speed skating minute-by-minute. Well, probably more second-by-second. As usual, CUE THE MUSIC! *it was broken within minutes by Choi Min-jeong, but pfffff, details are meaningless these days...

The all important order to events this morning looks a little something like this: Quarter-finals - 10.02am Semi-finals - 11.11am Final - 12.07pm All those times are GMT so if you're reading this from somewhere else in the world, work it out yourself for your own time zone. I'm not some form of performing monkey.

Something you may wish to take note of... Elise Christie is aiming for 3 medals at the Games. If she could make all three of them gold, she'd be in a brilliant position to lift the SPOTY title this year. Currently, she's 25/1 to win it. Surely worth a quid or two.... But do gamble responsibly and all that jazz.

The countdown is well and truly on. I'm stunned that BBC Sport haven't got a "COUNTDOWN TO CHRISTIE" timer in their bottom corner. Poor show guys. 9 minutes until the first of four QF races. Elise will go in the 2nd.

HAHAHAHAHA!!! JUST AS I SENT THAT, CHRISTIE COUNTDOWN TIMER APPEARS! Fair play Balding. I'll give you that.

For those unable to watch. Christie just did an interview with Balding and I may or may not have had a tear in my eye when she was speaking about the death threats she got post 2014, the choice she made to continue in the sport when she would have gladly walked away and when she said that redemption for her came in the World's last year when she was a triple gold medal winner. And that may be the longest sentence ever typed on here. Sorry. Not sorry.

Ewan

I was so sad when I found out she was last in SPOTY last year. She deserved much more for what she went through.

One thing I've loved about the speed skating so far these games are the warm up shots. Basically they all use a massive elastic band to get themselves into a position that only you and I could dream of holding. We're almost ready for the first QF. Here's the start list for anyone who cares about these four athletes...

500m SPEED SKATING - QUARTER FINAL 1 Fontana of Italy is the one to catch in the opening heat. Four and a half laps is all that stands between a semi final in an hour, or abject failure and letting down their country on a global stage. Harsh? You bet. False start to begin with though. Away 2nd time AND A CRASH ALREADY! Van Kerhof slides out the race...but because it was so early on, we get another restart. Might be done by tea-time. The VAR officials are out. Bet there's no debate about their merit in this sport. They have decided that St Gelais of Canada is out of there. Brutal sport. And then there were three in the heat. Two will go through. Imagine being that other one. UNDER WAY! AT LAST! Fontana leading from the off with Van Kerhof in 2nd. That's how it finishes too. Dull race after all that went before. Christie is up next!

Here's the start list for the only of the four races that I genuinely care about at this stage.