There was a time Kali Christ didn’t even know what was wrong with her let alone if she would make to the Olympics in Pyeongchang.
In January of 2016, the 26-year-old speed skater from Regina fell during a warm-up in Norway and injured her hip. Christ wasn’t in any pain, but as soon as she tried to skate, she knew something was up.
“Everything felt completely off and that was one of the worst weekends ever,” she said. “It took a while to figure out what had happened.”
Her ligaments had stretched out around her SI joint and not properly stabilizing her hip, it required her muscles to do extra work and made it extremely difficult to skate without fatigue.
“I was having trouble just skating more than two laps and, even with two laps, the technique kind of fell apart,” she explained.
Christ struggled to get a diagnosis from her doctors for the problem, who she said didn’t understand the tight timeline she was on to qualify for the 2018 Games, so instead she turned to her physiotherapist for help.
“As soon as that started, I saw an immediate increase in my ability to skate.”
That was in July of 2017, just six months before she needed to be in top form for the Olympic trials.
“The world cups in the (fall of 2017) have been really really exciting to see the improvement I’ve been able to make even in just a short time,” Christ enthused. “I spent the last four years pretty unhappy with my results from Sochi and I don’t think I’ve ever been as excited to get going with a season like I was after the Games last time.”
Christ competed in the 1500 metre earlier this week in Pyeongchang, placing 19th and has the team pursuit event coming up February 18-21 with teammates Ivanie Blondin, Josie Morrison, Kari Morrison and Isabelle Weideman.
But after just getting back to form and being able to compete in the sport she loves again, Christ isn’t putting any medal pressure on herself.
“I’ve missed a year and a half … right now I just want to see where this can take me and focus on the process and what I need to do to get the best results and as long as I skate my best I’m going to be happy no matter what the result is,” she said.