The unlikely Olympian
Updated: 2014-03-11 09:25
By Lei Lei (China Daily)
Vanessa-Mae, a renowned violinist, gives a concert at Crocus City Hall in Moscow in 2012. Zurab Dzhavakhadze / ITAR-TASS
Vanessa-Mae finished in last place in the women's giant slalom at the Sochi Games, but the world renowned violinist is attracting plenty of attention thanks to her dramatic career change. Lei Lei talked to her in Sochi during the Winter Olympic Games.
She is known as renowned violinist Vanessa-Mae, but it was Vanessa Vanakorn who made her debut at the Sochi Winter Olympic Games.
Representing Thailand, Vanessa-Mae took part in the women's giant slalom at the Sochi Games, finishing in 67th place, last position. But she enjoyed her first Olympic trip as an athlete.
"I nearly crashed three times, but I made it down and that was the main thing," the 35-year-old says. "Just the experience of being here is amazing. I was worried I was going to get lost (on the track), but I just about managed it."
Born in Singapore to a Chinese mother and a Thai father, Vanessa-Mae, who has sold more than 10 million records worldwide, was brought up in England and is a dual citizen of the United Kingdom and Thailand. She competed under her father's family name, Vanakorn, in Sochi.
It was not her first time at an Olympics, Vanessa-Mae joined the London Summer Olympics as the ambassador of Olympic worldwide partner, Omega, but this time she was thrilled to participate in her first athletes parade at the opening ceremony.
"Honestly, it didn't actually hit me until I saw the Olympic Flame being lit and I had tears in my eyes," she says.