The world-famous classical violinist who faked her way into the Olympics

Have you heard the one about the classical-pop violinist who faked her way on to an Olympic ski team?

And you thought Lolo Jones making the U.S. bobsled team at Sochi was bad. No stranger to controversy, classical-pop violinist Vanessa-Mae faked her way onto the Thai ski team (yes, Thailand has a ski team) as part of an elaborate conspiracy that involved a series of fixed races.

Interestingly, it all went down just a few years after the morally bereft Mae performed at a birthday party for Chechen leader/war criminal Ramzan Kadyrov, for which she was paid 500 grand. If that gives you an indication of the performer’s scruples (hint: no scruples).

Ramzan Kadyrov (Image source: Yellow Cake)
Ramzan Kadyrov (Image source: Yellow Cake)

So Vanessa-Mae, whose work you can see below, apparently dreamed of participating in the Sochi Olympics. Instead of realizing she was profoundly underqualified, having never competed at any level, and letting the dream die, Mae was determined to make the team. Score one for ambition!

Seriously, the only thing that would have qualified the violinist to be at the Olympics in Sochi was the fact that she had performed at the 2002 Paralympics. So, in order to get the then-36-year-old on the Thai team—she knew she’d never make the British squad—she participated in a series of four fixed qualifying races.

Her time was adjusted in each of the four races, and even better: race officials made up racers and times and adjusted the times of racers who actually participated as part of an elaborate conspiracy designed to put Vanessa-Mae forth as Thailand’s qualifier for the 2014 Olympics.

Competing under her Thai father’s last name, Vanessa Vanakorn finished last out of 67 racers in the giant slalom. Not only was she last, but she was nearly a minute slower than the winning racer, which is, to say the least, not a professional time.


Upon investigation, the conspiracy was uncovered and those involved were hit with a ban. Mae’s role, however, couldn’t proved in court, and she escaped sanction.

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