Violinist to ski for Thailand
VIOLINIST Vanessa Mae, whose full name is Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, is set to ski for Thailand at the Winter Olympics in Russia next month, the Thai team said yesterday.
The 35-year-old former child prodigy, whose father is Thai, is one of two skiers due to represent the kingdom in Sochi, team leader Varin Tansupasiri said.
Vanessa Mae - born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents - grew up in London. Varin said Thailand was expecting to receive formal notification of her qualification from the International Ski Federation yesterday.
The violinist, who has been training in Zermatt in Switzerland for several years, qualified after competing in Slovenia over the weekend under her father's surname, Vanakorn. Her manager, Giles Holland, told the BBC: "She's done it by a whisker, but she's done it."
Until now, the only Thai to ski at the Winter Olympics was academic Prawat Nagvajara, who competed in Salt Lake City in 2002 and at Pragelato in Italy in 2006.