British short-track skater Elise Christie, representing her country at the Sochi Winter Olympics, has revealed that she deleted her Twitter account after online abuse in the wake of her medal miss in the 500m Olympic final earlier this week.
Elise Christie shut her Twitter account down on Friday after consulting with Team GB officials, after receiving unsavoury messages— Owen Gibson (@owen_g) February 15, 2014
Christie finished second in the race but was denied a medal when she was penalised for causing a crash which impacted on three of the four finalists. The penalty saw her demoted to eighth place.
Returning to the ice for her 1,500m heats on Saturday, Christie was eliminated again on a penalty decision, this time for missing the official finish line by 1cm as her race ended, according to the BBC.
Understandably upset, Christie told the broadcaster that her preparations had been affected by dealing with the abuse on Twitter after the 500m final:
I have had a few people threatening me, cyber bullying basically. I have had to deal with abuse on the internet as well. So, I have found it hard.
Cannot believe people are cyber bullying @elise_christie - hope she realises these idiots clearly have nothing in their tiny, sad lives.— Andy Hewitt (@andyuk71) February 15, 2014
The incident brings to mind diver Tom Daley's online abuse during the 2012 Summer Games. Finishing outside the medals in the pairs event, one user told Daley he had let his father down, as Eurosport recorded at the time.
Daley's father had only recently died from a brain tumour.
Daley, however, put the incident behind him to pick up a bronze medal in the individual event later in the Games.
Christie's last chance for a medal comes in the 1,000m, which is considered her strongest event.