Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 21 October 2014

Sochi Winter Olympics: Violinist Vanessa-Mae's pride at making her bow

SOCHI, RUSSIA - FEBRUARY 10: Vanessa Mae of Thailand attends the Alpine Skiing Women's Super Combined Downhill on day 3 of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics at Rosa Khutor Alpine Center on February 10, 2014 in Sochi, Russia. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

British violinist Vanessa-Mae insists she has "nothing to prove," after making her Winter Olympics bow.

The 35-year-old (below), who has sold millions of records worldwide, made headline news after it was revealed she had qualified for the Games in Sochi.

Competing for Thailand under her father's name Vanakorn, she was able to realise one of her dreams in the women's giant slalom.

Despite finishing last of the competitors to complete the two runs – 50.1 seconds behind gold medallist Tina Maze who, by contrast, clinched victory by a mere seven hundredths of a second – Vanessa-Mae has no regrets.

"Every decade in life I think you've got to discover something new," she said.

"Even if it's something that you really should have taken up seriously 25 years ago.

"It's never too late to try something. If somebody says, 'I want to play the violin', I'm going to say 'okay, you're not going to be great, but you're going to have fun'.

"For me, at least, it was just to try and become a better skier in a short amount of time at my age."

The Singapore-born Vanessa-Mae, who has a Chinese mother and Thai father and was raised in London, became just the third person to compete for Thailand at a Winter Olympics.

It was an honour she did not want to demean by releasing an album to capitalise on the attention she would receive in Sochi.

"I have nothing to prove; I've nothing to sell," she said.

Vanessa-Mae, who has pledged to make a "big donation" to an animal charity, may have envisaged better conditions than the ones that faced her.

However, she did not completely rule out competing in Pyeongchang in 2018.

"I'm pretty old already and it's my first Olympics, but maybe I've got another one in me. We'll see," she said.

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