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.
Steve Langton, who was described by driver Steven Holcomb as the “best push athlete in the world,” announced his retirement today.
A collegiate sprinter and jumper at Northeastern University, Langton decided to try bobsledding after watching the 2006 Winter Olympics. He filled out an online athlete resume, and, by the 2010 Games, he was an Olympian.
At the Sochi 2014 Games, Langton teamed with Holcomb to win a bronze medal in the two-man race. It was the first Olympic medal in the event by American sled since 1952. He claimed another bronze medal as a member of Holcomb’s four-man “Night Train.”
“In Sochi I competed on the world’s biggest stage, I won two medals for my country and I did so along not only the best teammates but best friends anyone could ever ask for,” Langton told USA Bobsled.
Langton, who has a 62-inch standing box jump and can squat more than 500 pounds, was described by Men’s Health as “the most powerful winter Olympian” in the lead-up to 2014 Games.
“[Langton’s] work ethic and discipline rubbed off on the other athletes and made everyone better,” said USA Bobsled & Skeleton Chief Executive Officer Darrin Steele. “I have no doubt that he’ll find success in the next chapter of his life as well.”
Langton appeared on “The Amazing Race” in 2015 with his girlfriend, Aly Dudek, an Olympic short track speedskater.
None of the push athletes on the current U.S. roster have Olympic experience. Holcomb will compete in the World Cup opener this Saturday with Sam McGuffie, a former University of Michigan football player. The race will be McGuffie’s World Cup debut.