Violinist Vanessa Mae set to ski in Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
The British musician will compete for Thailand after a last-ditch attempt to make qualifying standards this weekend
Classical cross-over violinist Vanessa Mae will be swapping her bow for a pair of poles next month.
The British musician will be competing for Thailand in the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics.
A keen skier since childhood, Mae has been competing using her father’s surname Vanakorn, taking to the slopes in Slovenia more than four times this weekend in a final attempt to reach qualifying standard. Which, her manager Giles Holland confirmed to the BBC, she did "by a whisker".
"It would appear that she's done it," Holland said. "She's done it by a whisker, but she's done it."
Speaking about her decision to compete for Thailand, she said: "I'm British but realistically there is no way I could represent my own country, but because my natural father is Thai, they have accepted me."
The current rules surrounding Olympic qualification state that countries with no skiers ranked in the world’s top 500 can send one man and one woman to the Games to compete in the slalom and giant slalom if the athletes meet a second set of criteria.
As Thailand has no skiers ranked in the world’s top 500 for any Alpine discipline, Mae had to produce an average of 140 points or fewer over five recognised races.
According to the results published on the official website of world skiing body FIS, Mae dipped just under the 140 mark average after a strong set of results following four back-to-back giant slalom races in Slovenia, which included her participation in the national junior championships. At 35, she was 14 years older than the next oldest entrant.
It has long been Mae’s ambition to compete at the Winter Olympics.
In 2010, she announced her bid to qualify for Sochi 2014 during an interview with The Telegraph.
"It has been my dream and I am hoping people will accept I just want to give it my best," she told the publication.
"To even get to the Olympics, I have to qualify for the 2013 World Championships and the standard is high.
"I am taking a plunge. I am British, but realistically there is no way I could represent my own country.
"But because my natural father is Thai, they have accepted me."
However, Mae’s place at Sochi 2014 must still be confirmed by the FIS when the final points list is published. The process to allot places for potential competitors based on the points list begins today.
- 1 Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
- 3 World learns of app that shows you who unfriended you on Facebook, app promptly crashes
- 4 Chris Moyles reportedly set to make radio comeback with new breakfast show on XFM
- 5 The Greece debt crisis explained in less than 100 words
Florida man sentenced to two-and-a-half years for having sex on the beach in front of a child
Autistic teenager beaten up by bullies makes them watch 20-minute video about autism
Tube strike July 2015: Is it still on? Everything you need to know about the industrial action
Eiji Tsuburaya: Godzilla co-creator honoured in today's interactive Google Doodle
Florida teacher sentenced to 22 years in prison for sexually abusing three pupils
More Britons believe that multiculturalism makes the country worse - not better, says poll
Osborne to cap family benefits at £23,000 – announced ahead of his post-election Budget
Nathan Collier: Montana man inspired by same-sex marriage ruling requests right to wed two wives
Forget little green men – aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert
Girl, 7, stares down hate preacher at Ohio festival with pro-LGBT rainbow flag gesture
Sickness and disability benefits could be reduced by £30 a week as part of £12bn welfare cuts
£40000 - £50000 per annum + bonus: Ashdown Group: HR Manager - West London - £...
£17000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£55 - 65k (DOE) + Benefits: Guru Careers: A HR Manager / HR Business Partner i...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A rare and exciting opportunity for a Practice...