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Sochi 2014: Vanessa Mae adds Olympic string to her bow

updated 8:08 AM EST, Wed February 19, 2014
Despite finishing 67th in the giant slalom -- some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze -- Vanessa Mae was delighted to make her Olympic bow at Sochi. Despite finishing 67th in the giant slalom -- some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze -- Vanessa Mae was delighted to make her Olympic bow at Sochi.
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Over the moon
Out of her comfort zone
History in the making
Across the line
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Violinist Vanessa Mae finishes 67th in giant slalom
  • The 35-year-old's final time is 50.10 seconds off winner Tina Maze's time
  • Mae crosses the finishing line, unlike 22 other competitors
  • The musician relishes the experience despite her final placing

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(CNN) -- If timing is key for musical maestros, Vanessa Mae found out the hard way on the Sochi slopes that the same is true of Winter Olympians.

The multi-million selling violinist made her Olympic bow in the giant slalom Tuesday, finishing some 50.10 seconds behind winner Tina Maze of Slovenia -- although Mae can take heart from crossing the finishing line, unlike 22 other competitors.

The Singapore-born Briton also made history, becoming Thailand's first ever female skier and only third representative at the Winter Olympics, representing her father's homeland under his surname Vanakorn.

Her 67th-place finish -- last of all those who actually completed the event -- was not enough to dampen the spirits, though, of somebody more practiced in racing through scales than down the side of a Russian mountain.

"I expected to be last but at the end of the day the Olympics is a great opportunity," she told reporters.

The 35-year-old, on a slushy course, came hesitantly out of the starting gate, eventually finishing 27 seconds back after her first run and at the rear of the 74 who made it to the bottom out of the 89-strong starting field.

Read: Dutch skaters clean up again to maintain spotless display

Her second run saw her clock a total time for the event of three minutes and 26.97 seconds -- 11.35 seconds behind her closest rival Xia Lina of China.

"I nearly crashed three times, but I made it down and that was the main thing," said Mae.

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"Just the experience of being here is amazing. I was worried I was going to get lost [on the course], but I just about managed it."

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Mae, ranked 2,253 in the world, left it late to book her place at the 2014 Winter Olympics -- only claiming the relevant qualifying marks in Slovenia in January.

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The violinist, however, is delighted to have proven to the world that she now has an extra string to her bow, especially considering that this time last year Sochi had not even been on her radar.

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"I'm a last-minute kind of girl, I mean training for the Olympics with six months to go was a last-minute thing," added Mae.

Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi Sidney Crosby celebrates after scoring Canada's second goal during the men's ice hockey gold medal match against Sweden on Sunday, February 23. Most of us know the Winter Olympics through the power of television, as a spectacle in constant motion. Seeing the Games through still photography is a different experience altogether. Here's a look at the most compelling images from the word's best photographers at Sochi 2014. | More photos: Falling down in Sochi
Visions of Sochi
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Photos: Visions of Sochi Photos: Visions of Sochi

"My main purpose of being here was to really have a good time and to improve my skiing in a very short amount of time."

Read: U.S. duo Davis and White skate to historic gold

Describing music as her "lifelong passion," but skiing as her "lifelong hobby," Mae made her solo debut with the Philharmonia Orchestra in London at the age of 10, three years later becoming the youngest soloist ever to record the Beethoven and Tchaikovsky violin concertos.

She is now a household name in Britain and much of the rest of the world, with global sales in excess of 10 million.

Her self-described "techno-acoustic fusion" is big in Slovenia for one, with Tuesday's giant slalom gold medallist Maze -- a part-time singer -- admitting to being a fan.

"We spoke after the first race," Maze said. "I didn't know that it was her sitting next to me."

"I respect a lot of what she does with music and she has a great personality," she said, before adding: "I wouldn't trade my gold medal for 10 million records sold."

Read: Jansrud triumphs in super-G as Miller gets historic bronze

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