Cr. - Chosun Ilbo
World-famous electric violinist Vanessa Mae will attempt to qualify for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, according to Russia's state-run news outlet Russia Today on Tuesday. Mae, who was born in Singapore, plans to represent her father's country Thailand in two disciplines -- women's slalom and giant slalom.
Mae is known as an ardent ski fan. She started skiing at the age of four, one year before she picked up the violin, and has frequently described skiing as her lifelong hobby and music as her lifelong passion. Mae reportedly spends much of her vacation time skiing in Switzerland.
Mae wanted to compete in the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, but had to give up dream due to citizenship issues. Born to a Thai father and a Chinese mother, she earned U.K. citizenship when her mother got married for a second time to a British citizen.
As the Thai Olympic Committee demanded Mae give up her British citizenship in order to represent the Southeast Asian country, however, she had to bury her dream of competing in the Olympics.
But the committee has now decided to allow Mae to retain dual citizenship, thus opening the door for her to become an Olympian. Thailand is a virtual wasteland when it comes to winter sports. Only one athlete has competed for the Kingdom at the Winter Olympics so far -- Prawat Nagvajara, who competed in men's cross-country skiing in 2002 and 2006.
With the nationality issue cleared up, it now remains to be seen whether Mae can qualify for the quadrennial event as she needs obtain a certain level of points required by the International Ski Federation by taking part in international competitions.