The International Ski Federation has this week confirmed British-Thai violinist Vanessa-Mae has met the qualifying criteria and will be competing for her father’s native Thailand in the giant slalom at next month’s Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.
Olympic qualification rules determine that countries without a skier ranked in the world’s top 500 can send one male and one female competitor to the Games as long as the athletes can achieve a set of minimum international benchmarks – which she passed this week at a lead up event in Slovenia.
Mae started skiing at the age of four, a year before she took up the violin, and announced her ambition to compete in the Olympics in 2010 in an interview with Britain’s Daily Telegraph.
The 35 year old, who will use her father’s Thai surname and compete as ‘Vanessa Vankorn’, will be only the second Winter Olympian in history to represent Thailand.
She has said she will return to music once her Olympic dream is over.