The controversial British skater feels “a complete failure” and has temporarily hung up her blades – but at least her trolls have put the knives away, too.
I’M NOT USUALLY BOTHERED about winter sports, but my heart melted just a little bit when I heard the news about Elise Christie this week.
Scotland’s troubled, multiple World and European Speed Skating champion wrote on Twitter that she was feeling a “complete failure”, and would be taking a break from competition until next year.
After failing dramatically to add an Olympic medal to her laurels in both 2014 and 2018, Christie has been remarkably open about her struggles with mental illness – including taking antidepressants and self-harming.
She told the BBC in April that she was feeling better and excited about the future – but now appears to have suffered a significant relapse.
I can’t seem to get by without sport or the structure it gives my life these days
AFTER A WEEKEND spent binge-watching sport, the extra 70-minute wait for the Ashes Test to start this morning is killing me.
I spent most of Saturday glued to elite sport on the TV: the Arsenal-Burnley match, Wales vs England in the rugby and, most of all, England vs Australia in the cricket.
But for four days now I’ve gone cold turkey, and I’m really struggling.
I woke up on Monday, after a family day out the day before, feeling not just hungover and Monday-ish but also somehow bereaved. Sports bereaved.
My liver was craving alcohol and my mind the freedom of the weekend. My whole body was yearning for sleep; but the saddest feeling at all was that there would be no meaningful action until Thursday. Three whole days of nothing.
Me and the booze are having a trial separation – but breaking up is hard to do
I’VE BEEN DRINKING too much since the weather started getting better. That is, since the weather started getting better in 2018.
I distinctly remember that last Easter coincided with a spell of happy, heavy tippling, and I never really stopped after that.
We went on our first-ever cruise last summer, and the size of my belly in our holiday snaps shows that I got my money’s worth when I signed up for unlimited drinks.
Then, in the autumn, my running stats on Strava were distinctly average thanks to the continued quaffing of sherbets.
Over the winter, I tried to emulate the Run Miles, Drink Wine slogan I saw once on a fellow jogger’s T-shirt, but when you are in your 50s it soon it becomes clear that you have to focus on one or the other
On the booze, you run slower and less far, and the meagre health benefits you derive from this reduced activity are quickly overshadowed by the deleterious effects of alcohol.
That is: you stay fat. You can’t run as far as you used to. You don’t feel as much like running, and then you start to hate yourself. Boo, hoo.
There was a time, however, that exercise and boozing used to dovetail perfectly.
Cricket was my first love – but we’ve drifted apart since the kids were born. Can this year’s ‘once-in-a-lifetime summer’ bring the feeling back again?
I WAS ELEVEN, breathlessly waiting for it all to start.
England versus Australia. Summer 1977. Our living room sofa. I sat, cross legged and leaning slightly forward, with a cheap paper-backed scorebook open on my lap; orange squash and a biscuit by my side.
Shaggy-haired Bob Willis charged in and bowled the first ball of the day – as I remember it, the first ball of the entire Test – to Rick McCosker.