Piera Hudson's dream of competing at the 2018 Winter Olympics has moved one step closer.
New Zealand's number one female alpine skier received a $5000 scholarship from AMP scholarships, in association with Spicers Portfolio Management Hawke's Bay, last night.
Ms Hudson is currently ranked 193 out of 3800 athletes across the 70 nations and has a goal to compete at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang for New Zealand.
"No NZ Alpine woman has qualified for the Olympics in 16 years. I want to break this cycle and make history by taking Hawke's Bay to the Olympics," Ms Hudson said.
She has just returned to the region after a season in Wanaka and is heading off to Colorado in one month's time.
"I could not have asked for a better season down south becoming the 2016 women's Super G National Champion, overall New Zealand National Champion and the ANC Super G bib winner."
Ms Hudson said she was hoping to qualify for the Olympics this year and would be going to spend some time in Korea practising on the slope.
Piera's mother Fiona said she was thrilled when she found out Piera was the lucky recipient.
"She had been applying for the scholarship for years and almost did not apply this year so we are delighted. She has been on this journey since she was 8 years old so to get the recognition now is great," Mrs Hudson said.
Managing Principal of Spicers Hawke's Bay, Tobias Taylor, said they received a high quality of applications for the region's AMP scholarship this year and they had an outstanding shortlist of candidates.
"At the end of the day Piera stood out for her total commitment to where she was going and her desire to break new ground in an international field. We are just happy to be able to help her a little along the way, " Mr Taylor said.
The AMP scholarship aims to help New Zealanders own their tomorrow.
Since 1998 they have provided more than $2 million to over 180 everyday Kiwis.
They award the scholarship to talented and determined Kiwis like Ms Hudson who prove they are passionate about pursuing their dreams.
The aspiring Olympian said she was excited to show what she could do with the award and wanted to thank Spicers, AMP and the Hawke's Bay community for believing in her from the beginning.
"I just feel so privileged and hope this is the first of many Olympics to come."
If people want to be a part of Ms Hudson's journey to the Olympics go on to coastalcowhides.co.nz.