Eurosport - Thu, 04 Feb 16:44:00 2010
Short track speed skater Elise Christie believes she came of age at the European Championships last month and insists she is ready to prove it at the Winter Olympics in Vancouver.
Christie, 19, warmed up for her Olympic debut in perfect style by capturing European silver in Dresden, Germany in January over 1500m.
The Scottish flyer, one of the seven-strong British team heading to Vancouver, also returned from the World Junior Championships in Chinese Taipei last month with three top-eight finishes under her belt.
In Dresden, Christie collected silver behind Olympic bronze medalist Arianna Fortuna of Italy by the narrowest of margins and while Vancouver will see the Scot take on the world's finest, she believes she has nothing to fear.
"It was good to get out there and compete and fortunately I was able to get a silver medal," said Christie.
"I'm still a junior and that was a senior championships so I'm excited about getting out there and showing what I can do.
"My performance at the Europeans bodes well because a lot of my rivals are European. Arianna Fontana has won a Winter Olympic medal and has won World Cups before.
"Obviously the non-European countries will be strong but that's not to say that the European teams are not going to be competitive so I'll go to Vancouver with real confidence.
"Everyone knew I was capable of getting the medal but because I'm young, the racing experience isn't there so much.
"I went to the world juniors the week before and finished in the top eight in every event and beat some of the Chinese competitors as well so there's no reason I can't do the same in Vancouver."
Christie is one of two female British competitors making the trip to Vancouver as she is joined by two-time Olympian Sarah Lindsay - ten years her senior.
And while Lindsay has opted to focus purely on the 500m in a bid to make it third time lucky, Christie revealed she will have three bites of the cherry in British Columbia.
"I don't think I specialise in any of the distances. I am a long distance skater and I do seem to find those events a bit easier but I still do well in the 500m, it's just harder for me, but I'll be doing all three in Vancouver," she added.
"As a whole team we're getting much better. Over the last few years the coaching has got a lot better and hopefully that will pay off in Vancouver and continue getting better in four years' time.
"I think if one person gets a medal then it shows that anyone can do it."
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