Apparently it wasn’t enough for Vannesa-Mae to be a world-renowned violinist; now she hopes to add Olympian to her list of career accomplishments.
Mae, likely the world’s only techno-pop-violinist-slash-alpine-skier, is aiming to be only the second Thai athlete to compete in any Winter Games. She needs to ski in five internationally recognized events in order to qualify for the giant slalom and/or slalom events at the Sochi Games next year.
“People are surprised when they see me skiing – a classical violinist, Oriental, who has lived in the city all her life,” Mae told Reuters. “But it has been my dream to be a ski bum since I was 14…
“I wanted to compete for Thailand because there is a part of me which I have never celebrated – being Thai. My father, like most Thais, has never skied but he’s really excited about me doing this.”
She’s currently training in Zermatt, Switzerland and plans to enter her first event by April.
“Of course there is a risk that I could break something but life is short and you have to go for it. Just to qualify for the Olympics in my hobby would be a dream come true for me.”
Might not want to refer to it as a “hobby” when you’re going up against Lindsey Vonn and Tina Maze.
SCHEDULE UPDATE: Vonn will will return for the final women’s downhill training run on Monday at 9 p.m. ET. LIVE STREAM
Look closely at Lindsey Vonn.
When NBC cameras zoom in on the two-time Olympic medalist, viewers will notice that she wrote a couple of messages on her uniform in permanent marker.
On the thumb of her right glove, Vonn has the word “believe” in Greek. It mirrors a tattoo she has on the inside of a finger.
“Signifying my last Olympics [in 2018] and just need to believe in myself,” Vonn said to NBC’s Nick Zaccardi.
On her helmet, Vonn has the initials “D.K.” and a heart. It is meant to honor her late grandfather, Don Kildow.
Kildow, who served in the Korean War from 1952-54, died on Nov. 1. Watch to learn more about Vonn’s special relationship with her grandparents:
PYEONGCHANG, South Korea (AP) — At the bottom of the Olympic aerials landing hill, where crashes are common and the term “slap back” is part of the everyday lingo, skiers spend almost as much time figuring out how to protect their heads as they do working on all those flips and spins.
“We learn how to fall,” U.S. jumper Jon Lillis said.
Elsewhere around the action-sports venue, that’s not so much the case.
Concussion dangers lurk everywhere — from the iced-over deck of the halfpipe, to the steeply pitched landings on the slopestyle course, to the careening twists and turns of the snowboard cross track, to the aerials course, where “slap back” is the term for when a skier’s head slaps backward against the snow. But at the Olympics, there are no hard-and-fast rules regarding who diagnoses head injuries, and no hard-and-fast protocol that athletes must clear to be allowed back on the slopes after a concussion.
“A bit concerning,” says neurologist Kevin Weber of the Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “Because you worry that athletes in other sports that may not be as popular as football are getting, I wouldn’t say ignored, but the concussions they’re getting are under-scrutinized.”
Read the full story at NBCOlympics.com