Skip to main content
Part of complete coverage on

Sochi 2014: Vanessa Mae adds Olympic string to her bow

February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1308 GMT (2108 HKT)
Despite finishing 67th in the giant slalom -- some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze -- Vanessa Mae was delighted to make her Olympic bow at Sochi. Despite finishing 67th in the giant slalom -- some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze -- Vanessa Mae was delighted to make her Olympic bow at Sochi.
HIDE CAPTION
Over the moon
Out of her comfort zone
History in the making
Across the line
<<
<
1
2
3
4
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Violinist Vanessa Mae finishes 67th in giant slalom
  • The 35-year-old's final time is 50.10 seconds off winner Tina Maze's time
  • Mae crosses the finishing line, unlike 22 other competitors
  • The musician relishes the experience despite her final placing

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- If timing is key for musical maestros, Vanessa Mae found out the hard way on the Sochi slopes that the same is true of Winter Olympians.

The multi-million selling violinist made her Olympic bow in the giant slalom Tuesday, finishing some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze of Slovenia -- although Mae can take heart from crossing the finishing line, unlike 22 other competitors.

The Singapore-born Briton also made history, becoming Thailand's first ever female skier and only third representative at the Winter Olympics, representing her father's homeland under his surname Vanakorn.

Her 67th-place finish -- last of all those who actually completed the event -- was not enough to dampen the spirits, though, of somebody more practiced in racing through scales than down the side of a Russian mountain.

"I expected to be last but at the end of the day the Olympics is a great opportunity," she told reporters.

The 35-year-old, on a slushy course, came hesitantly out of the starting gate, eventually finishing 27 seconds back after her first run and at the rear of the 74 who made it to the bottom out of the 89-strong starting field.

Read: Dutch skaters clean up again to maintain spotless display

Her second run saw her clock a total time for the event of three minutes and 26.97 seconds -- 11.35 seconds behind her closest rival Xia Lina of China.

"I nearly crashed three times, but I made it down and that was the main thing," said Mae.

Pussy Riot detained in Sochi

"Just the experience of being here is amazing. I was worried I was going to get lost [on the course], but I just about managed it."

Gold ends years of injury, depression

Mae, ranked 2,253 in the world, left it late to book her place at the 2014 Winter Olympics -- only claiming the relevant qualifying marks in Slovenia in January.

Sochi: Russian figure skating is back

The violinist, however, is delighted to have proven to the world that she now has an extra string to her bow, especially considering that this time last year Sochi had not even been on her radar.

Dating app 'Tinder' heats up Sochi games

"I'm a last-minute kind of girl, I mean training for the Olympics with six months to go was a last-minute thing," added Mae.

Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi
Visions of Sochi
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
>
>>
Photos: Visions of Sochi Photos: Visions of Sochi

"My main purpose of being here was to really have a good time and to improve my skiing in a very short amount of time."

Read: U.S. duo Davis and White skate to historic gold

Describing music as her "lifelong passion," but skiing as her "lifelong hobby," Mae made her solo debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London at the age of 10, three years later becoming the youngest soloist ever to record the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos.

She is now a household name in Britain and much of the rest of the world, with global sales in excess of 10 million.

Her self-described "techno-acoustic fusion" is big in Slovenia for one, with Tuesday's giant slalom gold medallist Maze -- a part-time singer -- admitting to being a fan.

"We spoke after the first race," Maze said. "I didn't know that it was her sitting next to me."

"I respect a lot of what she does with music and she has a great personality," she said, before adding: "I wouldn't trade my gold medal for 10 million records sold."

Read: Jansrud triumphs in super-G as Miller gets historic bronze

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1705 GMT (0105 HKT)
With the Olympic cauldron now extinguished, CNN takes a look at whether Russia's $50 billion Sochi budget was money well spent.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1440 GMT (2240 HKT)
The athletes on show in Sochi provided moments of drama and destiny that captured the imagination and settled in the collective memory.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1615 GMT (0015 HKT)
Russia may have topped the medals table at the first Winter Olympics it staged, but which country was most successful per capita?
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1648 GMT (0048 HKT)
From eye-popping helmet designs to F1-influenced bobsleigh, the Sochi offered a bewildering array of technological innovation.
February 24, 2014 -- Updated 1146 GMT (1946 HKT)
Sochi's closing ceremony took an artistic look at Russian culture before the Olympic flag was handed over to South Korea for the 2018 Games.
February 23, 2014 -- Updated 1857 GMT (0257 HKT)
Critics say it would have been cheaper to coat this Russian road with caviar but will the route made for Sochi reap long-term rewards?
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1206 GMT (2006 HKT)
Navigate your way around this spectacular 360-degree picture from Sochi's ski-jumping venue at the Winter Olympics -- and find out how it was created.
February 18, 2014 -- Updated 1045 GMT (1845 HKT)
Sochi's transformation has left even the local cab drivers a bit lost and confused -- but don't let that put you off visiting this rejuvenated Black Sea resort.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1759 GMT (0159 HKT)
Australia's silver medalist Torah Bright celebrates during the Women's Snowboard Halfpipe Medal Ceremony at the Sochi medals plaza during the Sochi Winter Olympics on February 13, 2014.
What do you get if you mix Valentine's Day, thousands of good-looking young Olympians and a popular online dating app?
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1211 GMT (2011 HKT)
For a Winter Olympics, there are some very colorful characters from some very tropical climates taking part -- including this "Mariachi" skier.
February 14, 2014 -- Updated 1103 GMT (1903 HKT)
If snowboarders were an introduction to a younger, hipper, "slacker" generation of Olympians, the next wave has taken it to another level.
June 3, 2014 -- Updated 1052 GMT (1852 HKT)
He didn't like carpets, he banned portraits and he walked in water rather than swim. Welcome to Joseph Stalin's dacha.
February 13, 2014 -- Updated 2319 GMT (0719 HKT)
ebanon's Jackie Chamoun skis during the Women's Giant slalom first run at the 2013 Ski World Championships in Schladming, Austria on February 14, 2013.
Like most skiers in Sochi, Jacky Chamoun had hoped to cause a stir on the slopes rather than off them.
February 12, 2014 -- Updated 1014 GMT (1814 HKT)
A prop from the Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
It has been dubbed Russia's Las Vegas. But has Sochi's massive renovation come at a cost to the region's stunning natural environment?
February 23, 2014 -- Updated 1733 GMT (0133 HKT)
Take a different look at Sochi 2014 as CNN showcases the most compelling images from the world's best photographers.
ADVERTISEMENT