17. February 2014 · Comments Off on String Skier · Categories: Read Online

Classical music has managed to take center stage at sports events in the last few weeks. Soprano Renée Fleming sang the National Anthem at the Super Bowl two weekends ago. And the Russian-born Anna Netrebko, an ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin, appeared at the Winter Olympics opening ceremony to perform the Olympic Anthem.

However, no one asked either of those opera stars to perform athletic feats. Leave those to 35-year-old British violinist Vanessa-Mae, who is scheduled to ski for Thailand in the women’s giant slalom Tuesday, Feb. 18.

First marketed as a child prodigy in the late 1980s, Vanessa-Mae later found huge success as a crossover musician with an overtly sexy image. In 2006, London’s Sunday Times put her at the very top of its list of the U.K.’s wealthiest young entertainers. Her fortune, then estimated at £32 million, beat out the likes of Coldplay’s Chris Martin and actors Orlando Bloom and Daniel Radcliffe.

Yet Vanessa-Mae has long dreamed of a second life as an Olympic alpine skier. And she’s found an interesting way to fulfill that desire.

In the latest international rankings for women’s giant slalom, Vanessa-Mae comes in only at No. 2,253. “I am British, but realistically there is no way I could represent my own country,” the violinist told The Telegraph in 2010. “But because my natural father is Thai, they have accepted me.”


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