The 2014 Sochi games will feature a track star-turned-boblsedder (Lolo Jones of the United States), a 55-year-old German prince (Hubertus of Hohenlohe-Langenburg of Mexico) and a world-class violinist who also happens to be an excellent skier.
Vanessa-Mae, once a child prodigy and now a renowned classical-pop musician, will compete at the upcoming Olympics for the home country of her father, Thailand. She will use her dad's surname, Vanakorn.
Vanessa-Mae's manager, Giles Howard, told the Associated Press that she has met the qualifying criteria to compete in Russia. Vanessa-Mae started skiing when she was 4, one year before she picked up a violin for the first time. While she advanced further in the world of music -- by age 13 she had become the youngest soloist to record both the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos -- she never lost her love of skiing.
She was born in Singapore and moved to England when she was 4. Now 35, Vanessa-Mae owns a home at a Swiss skiing resort and has been training for the Olympics for the past four years.
According to the Telegraph, Vanessa-Mae will be only the second Thai athlete to compete in the Winter Olympics.
"People are surprised when they see me skiing," she said. "But it has been my dream to be a ski bum since I was 14. This is something I am determined to do. I wanted to compete for Thailand because there is a part of me which I have never celebrated -- being Thai.