Vanessa-Mae has fulfilled her Winter Olympic dream by taking part in the giant slalom event… and successfully completing the course both times.
The British violinist, 35, who was competing under the name Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn, was representing Thailand, her father’s country of birth. Though ranked only 2,253rd in the world at the event, special rules designed to encourage countries without a winter sports tradition enabled her to qualify.
Taking a cautious approach, Vanessa-Mae twice negotiated the tricky course without either falling or missing a gate – something that 15 of her fellow competitors failed to do. However, that same caution did also mean that she finished 67th and last of those who got to the end, a comfortable 50 seconds behind the winner, Slovenia’s Tina Maze.
Clearly exhilarated by the experience, Vanessa-Mae reflected that, having only trained for the event for the last six months, she was simply delighted to have made it down. At 35, however, it would seem unlikely that she will abandon the career that has seen her sell over 10m discs to take up skiing full-time.
Tina Maze, meanwhile, has yet to confirm whether she will be tackling Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto any time soon…