Vanessa-Mae, a 34-year-old Thai-Chinese violinist, is making a bid to compete in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
A classically trained musician who plays a style she describes as “violin techno-acoustic fusion” (shudder), Vanessa-Mae has taken a year off from her musical pursuits in order to train in Switzerland, where she is working to perfect her abilities in the slalom and giant slalom. In order to qualify for the Olympics, Vanessa-Mae will need to start in five, FIS (Federation Internationale de Ski) events prior to the Olympics qualifying rounds.
Thais have traditionally made a modest showing at the winter games. The only Thai national to have qualified for the Winter Olympics is Prawat Nagvajara, an academic who competed in cross-country skiing.
In conversation with the Telegraph, Vanessa-Mae claimed that she wanted to compete in the Olympics because, “there is a part of me which I have never celebrated – being Thai.”
The child of a Thai father and a Chinese mother, Vanessa-Mae holds both British and Thai passports.