Vanessa Mae in Sochi

Vanessa MaeWatching Vanessa Mae, clearly an outstanding skier, navigating the Giant Slalom circuit in the Sochi Olympics just reminds me what a gulf exists between professional ski racers and the likes of us weekend skiers. Mae’s diminutive size is obviously one factor in her being something over 30 seconds off the pace, but I am always astonished at how hard some of the circuits are. The steepness of the descent is not so obvious on TV, nor how often the surface is so icy an average skier wouldn’t be able to get any edge on it at all. Visiting runs like the Lauberhorn also fails to alert you to the fact that these runs are deliberately made harder for the big races.

Mae has bought a home in Zermatt, where she has been training the last six months. Coincidentally I was in Zermatt last weekend, as I often am, but have yet to see the violin maestro on the slopes in person.


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