She's disappointed to be missing out on three legs of the world cup series in Europe but Hawke's Bay alpine skier Piera Hudson is simply happy to be home again.

"It couldn't happen but in the grand scheme of things it's not a disappointment at all because I'm definitely happy to be back home and healthy," says Hudson as she undergoes self-isolation — as a precaution against the threat of the Covid-19 virus pandemic — at the family home in Hastings.

The 24-year-old arrived in Napier from Stockholm, Sweden, on March 16 after preparing at the Are ski resort.


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Hudson, who harbours ambitions to make her debut at the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics in China, says it came as a shock to everyone.

"We all felt like we were in some sort of a movie while we were over there because it was just constantly changing."

Piera Hudson is staying fit and healthy while self-isolating with her parents at their home in Hastings since returning from Europe this month. Photo / Supplied
Piera Hudson is staying fit and healthy while self-isolating with her parents at their home in Hastings since returning from Europe this month. Photo / Supplied

A lion's share of the Italy team, she reveals, were banned from competing and not even allowed to catch a flight from their home port.

"It constantly felt like we were always on the run from it [virus]."

Hudson says the athletes in Are were offered separate apartments to ensure they were at a minimal risk although they had come across some of the Italians at the gym.

"Everybody was so uncertain about what was going on so nobody knew quite really what to do."

While no one had panicked, her coach, Jonny Rice, and his assistant, Sami Corne, had attended a briefing on the eve of world cup to suss out the formalities.

"As soon they sat down the first thing the organising committee had said was that somebody had tested positive for coronavirus and was on the way to Are from some other races in Norway," she says.

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Consequently the medical team in Sweden had shut down everything and all alpine skiing events had been cancelled so athletes could return to their homes.

Rice and Corne had transported Hudson on an eight-hour drive from Are to Stockholm but she wasn't able to catch a flight.

"I had to stay in Stockholm for two nights before I flew out," she says, adding the coaches had driven off to Austria from there.

With fewer flights departing from Stockholm, the cost of a ticket had shot up again after the World Health Organisation's announcement of a pandemic. She had caught a Qantas flight via Dubai and Brisbane.

"My flight from Stockholm to Dubai was very empty with about 30 people in it and then from there to Brisbane was absolutely packed with not one seat empty because all the Australians were trying to get back from holidaying in Dubai."

Hudson says her flight from Brisbane to Auckland had about a dozen passengers.

Her pre-pandemic plan was to remain in Are to train for a fortnight after the world cup there because of the ideal snow conditions.

While she had arrived home and was self-isolating on her own in a room, parents Fiona and John Hudson, were with her now. She spends time working out and staying fit and healthy.

"I'm keeping my distance from them and using sanitisers to wipe the surfaces of everything," says the skier with a laugh. "I'm basically doing the things my parents wouldn't usually have the time to do now that I have all the time in the world to do."

On her down time , she is on the social media platforms "living vicariously" through her family and friends around the globe.

When her self-isolation term is dusted, Piera Hudson hopes to hang out and have
When her self-isolation term is dusted, Piera Hudson hopes to hang out and have "some chill out time" with her mates in Hawke's Bay. Photo / supplied

Her brother, Tristren, a 26-year-old ski instructor, was scheduled to return to the Bay from Whitewaters in Canada on Monday but he will be self-isolating with an aunty in Waimarama.