A chocolate fish to anyone who knows where Sochi is ?
Answer: Russia. To be exact, the location of the 2014 Winter Olympics.
Local 16 year-old downhill ski racer Piera Hudson took the International racing scene by storm with an outstanding debut season but as is so often the case with our elite athletes, is relatively little known here – until the last few weeks anyway.
You’re forgiven for not knowing the detail but by the end of the next Northern Hemisphere season Piera is aiming for a top 200 world ranking to quality to represent NZ at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. If successful, she will be the first ever Hawke’s Bay athlete - male or female - to compete at a Winter Olympic Games. Given her current form she’ll romp in!
Piera grew up in Central Hawke’s Bay, went to Woodford House for 4 years then left for the USA at the tender age of 14. For the past two years, with a scholarship under her belt she has been based at Stratton Mountain School in Vermont, USA, an Academy for elite ski racers. During that time she saw her parents twice! After a quick break home at Waimarama, she is now based in Wanaka for the season training at Cardrona High Performance Centre with coaches Jonny Rice and Nils Coberger. This week is a gruelling camp with the NZ Winter Olympic Training Team. Piera is the youngest member.
Piera’s achievements to date are too numerous to mention , www.piera.co.nz This is her first year on the Federation of International Ski Racing (FIS) circuit where she has been up against 6000 women. Her world ranking is already 444 in Super G and she was 2nd in the world FIS point standings for her age in February. As of this week she has been nominated and is a finalist for two categories for the NZ Snow Sports Emerging Talent and Overall Alpine award. Have I mentioned she is 16 years young !!
The cost of competing in an elite sport is onerous to say the least. Worse when there is essentially no funding for the sport in NZ. Throw into the mix an Olympic Campaign and the costs skyrocket, even when done on the smell of an oily rag.
John Bostock of iconic local business Rush Munro’s Ice cream is the foundation sponsor for Piera and has watched her progress with growing interest and pride.
“Rush Munro’s is proud to be associated with a local athlete who has hit the world stage in such great form. We’re a small local company and realise an Olympic campaign requires a lot more resources than we can give so we’re working with Team Piera to find a Gold sponsor. There’s no doubt in my mind Piera is a future sport’s Rockstar. We’re incredibly proud of her gutsy effort!”
Four weeks ago, TEAM PIERA was formed with the primary function to raise sponsorship and support Piera and her parents John and Fiona Hudson in their Olympic Campaign. To say we at TEAM PIERA are proud is an understatement. We are in awe and more than just a little petrified of the 116km+ speeds she reaches flying down mountains.
If you’re interested in helping this amazing young woman and keen to be a part of taking Hawke’s Bay to the Winter Olympics, we’d love to hear from you! We’re looking for cash sponsors at all levels or you can simply donate at givealittle….
You can follow Piera’s progress on www.piera.co.nz and link to her givealittle donations page.
Twitter - @PieraHudson
Click here to see our girl in action - www.piera.co.nz
Audio of her radio interview
Fiona and John Hudson – transport, nutrition, domestic duties, ski tuning….Mum and Dad extraordinaire
Rush Munro’s - sponsorship and preferred ice-cream supplier!
Carolyn Walton Green – Awesome Aunt, sponsorship and furntiture designer (all proceeds to Piera ) new product range to be launched soon !
The Dome – accommodation and TEAM PIERA HQ
Nurve – www.piera.co.nz, online support, web masters, social media crew, sponsorship coordinators, general P fans !
FOR pr&media – PR, communications and media liaison
Telecom Foundation - givealittle
Special thanks to our local friends and supporters at More FM, Dom Post, Napier Mail & Hastings Mail
For the record, Piera’s favourite ice-cream is Rush Munro’s passionfruit (it’s an award winner too!!!)