Set for Sochi

By Sam Drury - Follow on Twitter

Last Updated: 05/02/2014, 11:05 GMT

Elise Christie and Charlotte Gilmartin

With just 50 days until the Winter Olympic Games get underway in Sochi and the squad now announced, Britain's Short Track Speed Skaters really are in the final stretch ahead of an event that could come to define their sporting careers.

A major aim this season was to work on race tactics, notably racing from the back, and after months of training and four World Cups to put what she had learnt into practice, Christie believes she is now comfortable and courageous enough to take this different approach to the rink. "I think it's going to help massively because when I won the medal in Russia every 1000m race I did was from the back of the race," she said. "I've never done that before. I've never had the guts to just be patient and I did it and I think that proved a lot to the other athletes and to myself. I think I can do it both ways and I believe that now, so that gives me a lot of confidence." Horsepool was delighted with the effort of his skater and was glowing in his praise of Christie's attitude and commitment to improving all the time. "It's an amazing understanding that world class athletes, no matter what sport they do, they address their weaknesses," he remarked. "Everybody likes doing what they're good at but it takes a special type of character to go and do things that they're not particularly good at. Elise has done that and she's done it with an open mind-set. "Not always easily, she's had a lot of questions but first she attacked it in training. Everyday doing things you're not good at and you're already world number one, it's an amazing performance, an amazing ability to do that - to challenge yourself as well as challenging others." It has been tough for Christie and indeed she is bracing herself for another testing time in the next few weeks, even if it is all for her own benefit come Sochi. "The next couple of weeks will be the full on hard training, killing yourself," she added. "My focus is to kill myself while doing things I'm not very good at so my ego's probably going to take a bit of a slap! But you've got to get on with it because it's what's best for the Games." The pressure and expectation after her success last year was something that the Sports Scholar admitted she struggled with at the beginning of this season. Although she is now far more at ease with it, and thrilled at the way in which it is helping to promote the sport, Christie is still realistic in her appraisal of her medals hopes. "You can't put all your hopes and dreams down to an Olympic medal with Short Track because you can win medals all year then you can fall over in every distance at the Games and you can't do much about it, you might get taken out," she said. "That's the problem with Short Track but I think it's also why it can be so exciting for people to watch because you don't know what's going to happen at the end of that day, you can't guess." Whilst that may be the case, it is clear that the GB Short Track team have done, and will do, everything they can do get the most out of the Christie and her four team-mates in Sochi. Much will be out of their hands once the skaters enter the rink but rest assured, what factors they can control will have been taken care of.