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Violinist-turned skier Vanessa Mae has win of her own in Sochi

Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 01:37

Feb. 23 - Vanessa Mae celebrates her last place Giant Slalom finish, saying that it was the ''longest, steepest slope'' she's ever skied on. Gavino Garay reports.

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Olympic Alpine skiing isn't typically a sport people dabble in. But for 35-year-old Vanessa Mae -- who, by day is a world renowned violin virtuoso -- the chance to represent Thailand, was an opportunity she couldn't pass up. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VIOLINIST AND OLYMPIC SKIER FOR THAILAND, VANESSA MAE, SAYING: "At times I really felt that, ho, you know, this is insane to try to qualify but also insane to keep up the day jobs so I actually had to clear my diary and say, with one month left, to qualify I really, it's a now or never thing. With only six months of training under her belt, competing alongside skiing superstars like Tina Maeze and Mikaela Shiffrin wouldn't be easy. While she came in last, Mae considers her Giant slalom performance a victory --- a triumph over the mountain and her nerves. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VIOLINIST AND OLYMPIC SKIER FOR THAILAND, VANESSA MAE, SAYING: "I literally thought I was going to die of a heart attack because I don't think I've ever found anything as stressful as the last couple of months, honestly... To make it down two runs on basically the longest, steepest slope I'd ever skied on, let alone raced on, meant that I just had to enjoy every moment. And I think I, when I go on stage, I try to savour every moment and make it last and I certainly did that. And if you look at my time, I certainly made it last." Her time of one minute 44.86 seconds put her nearly a minute behind the winner. But for her, it was well worth putting down the violin. (SOUNDBITE) (English) VIOLINIST AND OLYMPIC SKIER FOR THAILAND, VANESSA MAE, SAYING: The violin will always be there waiting patiently for me to opens its case and I think it's got rather jealous of my skis." And while not representing the Thai team in medals, she certainly did with courage.

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Violinist-turned skier Vanessa Mae has win of her own in Sochi

Sunday, February 23, 2014 - 01:37