Musician Vanessa Mae appeals against skiing ban

Updated: December 4, 2014
Musician Vanessa Mae appeals against skiing ban

British violinist Vanessa Mae is appealing a four-year ban from skiing competitions for fixing races that allowed her to qualify for this year’s Olympics.

Mae, who skied as Vanessa Vanakorn for Thailand, has appealed a ban from skiing’s governing body, FIS, to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, the Swiss-based court said.

Mae, a former child violin prodigy born in Singapore to Thai and Chinese parents, but who grew up in Britain, was given a four-year ban from participation in any FIS-sanctioned events worldwide.

As Thailand’s first ever female Olympic skier in the Russian resort of Sochi in February, Mae — racing under her father’s surname Vanakorn — made headlines and added a splash of glamour to the event.

But unlike her successful music career with millions of albums sold, her performance on the piste as one half of the Thai team was underwhelming, coming 67th and last in the giant slalom, far behind the rest of the field.

“I expected to be last but at the end of the day the Olympics is a great opportunity,” she said at the time.

“I nearly crashed three times, but I made it down and that was the main thing.”

Mae has described music as her “lifelong passion” but skiing as her “lifelong hobby”.