Vanessa-mae - Vanessa-mae Taking Music Hiatus To Chase Olympic Dream21 January 2013
Classical violinist Vanessa-Mae is taking a break from music in the hope of competing for Thailand in the 2014 Winter Olympics.
The 34-year-old star has announced a year-long hiatus so she can throw herself into ski training for the upcoming Games, which will be held in Sochi, Russia, in February 2014.
She tells Reuters, "People are surprised when they see me skiing - a classical violinist, Oriental, who has lived in the city all her life. But it has been my dream to be a ski bum since I was 14. This is something I am determined to do... 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."
Vanessa-Mae, full name Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson, is a British citizen but holds a Thai passport because her father, Vorapong Vanakorn, is a national of the Asian country - and she hopes to make him proud.
She adds, "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 as is the Thai Olympic Committee."
The star fully intends to return to the stage after pursuing her sporting ambition, adding, "It's time for a new album but doing this will give me a new perspective. Living my dream of being a ski bum is great but the best job in the world is being on stage, making music."