Nesbitt, Christine

Christine Nesbitt, speed skater (b at Melbourne, Australia, 17 May 1985). Christine Nesbitt is an internationally renowned athlete in SPEED SKATING. Nesbitt moved to London, Ont with her family at a young age and soon became involved in a variety of winter sports, including hockey. At age 12 she gave up competitive hockey with the London Devilettes to pursue speed skating. Originally specializing in short track, she won her first medal, a silver, in the 3000 m team relay at the Canada Winter Games at age 14.

In 2003 Nesbitt moved to Calgary, both to pursue a degree in engineering (later switching to geography) at the University of Calgary and to train at the Calgary Olympic Oval. While there, she shifted her skating discipline to long track. In 2005 she became a member of Canada's national team, and though she did not finish on the podium she was named Speed Skating Canada's "Rising Star" for her accomplishments on the international circuit during the 2005-06 season.

Christine Nesbitt's international stats began to rise considerably after the 2005-06 season, and she qualified for a spot on Canada's national Olympic team for the 2006 Turin Olympic Games. At Turin she secured finishes of 14th in the 1000 m and 7th in the 500 m, and she won a silver medal with her teammates Cindy KLASSEN, Kristina Groves, Clara HUGHES and Shannon Rempel in the team pursuit. Nesbitt gained valuable experience at Turin and applied it to her races the following season, winning 5 silver and 2 bronze medals (1000 m and 1500 m), and 2 silver medals in the team pursuits. In the 2007-08 season she won her first-ever World Cup competition, a gold in the 1500 m at an event in Salt Lake City. In 2008-09 she amassed 11 podium finishes in World Cup events and secured 2 world championship titles, in the 1000 m and in the team pursuit.

Nesbitt was internationally ranked as one of the top racers going in to the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games, winning all 4 World Cup races in the 1000 m that season in addition to other podium finishes in the other distances. In her first race of the Games, the 500 m, Nesbitt placed 10th in the 500 m and 6th in the 1500 m, but she had her best performance in her signature race, the 1000 m, where she won gold. Nesbitt is known for the strength she shows in the last half of her races and she finished the final race strong, though her start was shaky and she was behind for the first 600 m. Nesbitt won with a winning time of 1:16.56, barely besting silver medal winner Annette Gerritsen of the Netherlands, who finished the race with a time of 1:16.58. The margin of victory between Nesbitt and Gerritsen was the smallest in the race's history.