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Vanessa Mae Takes To
The Slopes In Zermatt

Violin star and Olympic hopeful Vanessa Mae

Violin star and Olympic hopeful Vanessa Mae tells how Zermatt has changed her life

Violin star and Olympic hopeful Vanessa Mae Vanessa Mae tells how Zermatt has changed her life Violin star and Olympic hopeful Vanessa Mae tells how Zermatt has changed her life Ski racing is a new string to my bow

In an ideal world, I’'d spend every weekend at my home in Zermatt. I like to ski on Saturdays and Sundays when the slopes are quieter due to changeover day.

     In summer I hike up into the mountains at sunset - my chihuahua, Max, comes with me. He has to do ten steps to every two of mine but he is super–-sporty and can easily run up to 2,500m. I spend the evening taking photographs of the Matterhorn. Every day it looks different.

     I'’ve been skiing since I was four - the same age I started playing violin. My boyfriend, Lionel Catelan, a wine dealer, is a big skier too. He loves Val d'’Isère, where he is from, but we both fell in love with Zermatt when we came here on a ski trip in 2005.

     I bought a place in Zermatt three years ago. It has been a life–-changing move, relocating here from London. I’ve decided to make my main priority for the next two years not playing the violin, but training for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. I’ve been accepted to ski for Thailand -– my natural father is Thai - in the Super G and Giant Slalom.

     People find it hard to understand how, as a musician, I can risk injuring myself on the slopes, but I’'ve always been a tomboy. As a

 

child I had Transformers and robots. I enjoyed climbing trees and did horse-riding for a while, until my piano teacher, who was married to my riding teacher, put a stop to it.

     I was always jealous of my friends who would break their arms riding or skateboarding! When I finally broke my shoulder in 2009, I hopped up and down with joy but all the doctors could say was ‘'what about your career?'’ Even if I'’m not going to be chasing a place on the podium in Sochi, I'’m going to have to go for it because every second counts.

THE FEAR FACTOR

     On the slopes the ski lift attendants often mistake me for a boy racer in my black ski outfit - they think I’'m my boyfriend’'s son! But I admit I'’m more fearful now than I was as a kid. I'’ve been told by my trainers to work on becoming more fearless by taking my bike up in the cable car in the summer and riding it down full throttle.

     Before I started ski training, I thought my music career was tough: the constant touring and hours of practice. But it’'s nothing like as hard as being an athlete. In music, raw talent and luck can get you a long way but in sport you

 

can’'t cut any corners. Luckily, Zermatt has a glacier so I can carry on training through the summer.

     As soon as the regular ski season ends, I’'m up at 4am on Saturdays to get the 6am cable car to the snow. This isn'’t easy, as I'’m a night owl.

     But if you leave it any later, you miss the best of the conditions on the glacier.

     My weekends in the mountains couldn’'t be more different from my childhood weekends in Singapore. My mother, who is Singaporean, met my second father, who is British, when they were both working as lawyers out there. We moved to Britain when I was four.

     My father played the viola and my mother the piano. But it was my teachers who told my nanny that I had a flair. I remember getting confused between the words ‘'distinction'’ and '‘detention'’ and telling my mother that my teacher told me if I practised harder, I would get a detention.

     It'’s wonderful to be in charge of my own schedule these days. When I do shows now, they have to fit in with my ski training.

     I would love to play a concert at Sochi during the Winter Olympics - –but I’'d also settle for playing with the Matterhorn as a backdrop.

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SupertravelSki 
I knew I should have brought my skis! It's snowed about 30 cm up on the glacier last night. #zermatt pic.twitter.com/tDWM6Iouls

 
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SupertravelSki 
The train journey up to Zermatt is an absolute pleasure, on time, gorgeous scenery and nice and comfy #notmynormalcommute #zermatt

 
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SupertravelSki 
A quick visit to #zermatt for us, always great to catch up with our friends there. Should we have brought our skis? #ski365

 
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SupertravelSki 
A quick visit to #zermatt for us, always great to catch up with our friends there. Should we have brought our skis? #ski365
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SupertravelSki 
Anyone want to join us on a 9 day charity bike ride from London to Courchevel in September, or be part of the support team?

 
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SupertravelSki 
We are looking forward to next week, quick trip to #Zermatt and then back for wine tasting #itsahardlife

 
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SupertravelSki 
Free trip to Courchevel? We need a support driver 22nd - 30th September for a charity bike ride. 9 days traveling though France for free?

 
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SupertravelSki 
Free trip to Courchevel? We need a support driver 22nd - 30th September for a charity bike ride. 9 days traveling though France for free?
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Retweeted by SupertravelSki
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SupertravelSki 
The Happy Valley home run in St Anton is looking a little bit busy considering it's the summer! pic.twitter.com/4NgDJN6rEw

 
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SupertravelSki 
Boy it's hot, we cant stop thinking about having a dip in one of the pools in our chalets! pic.twitter.com/gEGKJO6kt3

 
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SupertravelSki 
Boy it's hot, we cant stop thinking about having a dip in one of the pools in our chalets! pic.twitter.com/gEGKJO6kt3
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SupertravelSki 
Boy it's hot, we cant stop thinking about having a dip in one of the pools in our chalets! pic.twitter.com/gEGKJO6kt3
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Retweeted by SupertravelSki

 
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SupertravelSki 
It's our annual wine tasting next week - we are getting excited already! Any suggestions on what you'd like to see in the chalets?

 
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SupertravelSki 
Our new chalet in St Anton is selling really well for next winter - another full chalet booking today don't miss out! bit.ly/1nmC7fN

 
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SupertravelSki 
Happy 4th July to our ski friends across the USA. Let us organise an amazing trip to the country of Champagne Powder pic.twitter.com/czam7qiTnL

 
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SupertravelSki 
Want proof that we are 50 years old this winter, here's an ad from 1965 in a ski mag of the time. #WhatsaGuinea pic.twitter.com/v1qiFdVQkD

 
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SupertravelSki 
On Monday the Tour de France goes past our office, cant wait to see it! Yorkshire prepares for its visitors. pic.twitter.com/b6BHp2l7SR