Not only a talented violinist but can also ski. Vanessa Mae is set to represent Thailand at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics
Since childhood, Mae, has been a keen skier and she shall be competing as Vanessa Vanakorn under her father’s surname.
In a last-ditch bid to qualify, Mae raced four times in Slovenia at the weekend. Achieving the qualification by the slenderest of margins according to her manger, Giles Holland.
Under current Olympic qualification rules, countries with no skier ranked in the world’s top 500 may send one man and one woman to the Games – to compete in slalom and giant slalom – if those athletes meet a second set of criteria.
Thailand has no skiers ranked in the world’s top 500 for any Alpine discipline. To meet the second criteria, Mae had to produce an average of 140 points or fewer over five recognised races.
Athletes earn points on an inverse scale based on their performance, so the fewer points an athlete has, the better they are.
In 1990, the International Olympic Committee brought in what became known as the ‘Eddie the Eagle Rule’, which requires Olympic hopefuls to place in the top 30%, or the top-50 of competitors, whichever is less, in international events.
The British Olympic Association has much stricter selection criteria and will only put forward athletes who achieved a top-30 place in the FIS World Cup standings during the qualification period, or they must meet other strict specifications.
The woman who made playing the violin sexy, shall now surely make the slopes of Sochi sexy.