It's turning out to be quite a "sick" time for Hawke's Bay alpine skier Piera Hudson on the powdery slopes of China in the past fortnight.

Hudson is not suffering from any ailments, as you would know it, because "sick" in ski patois is another word for crazy, cool, insane, amazing or radical.

The 22-year-old is all that and more after she won the slalom race of the Far East Cup campaign at the Taiwoo ski resort on Tuesday.

Aiming to be the first athlete to represent her country in Winter Olympics from the Bay, Hudson was competing in the giant slalom at the same venue later yesterday.


On Tuesday she had clocked 50.26s in her first run and then backed it up with a smarter time of 49.69 for her second victory on the Far East Cup campaign.

The two-time Central Hawke's Bay Sportsperson of the Year showed immense character in clinching the win after registering a did not finish after her first run on Monday.

"We just couldn't believe that she could have achieved what she has in that short time in the world cup points and then going on to win all these races in the Far East Cup," said her mother, Fiona Hudson, from Queenstown yesterday.

Her daughter had boarded her flight last month from the Hawke's Bay Regional Airport in Napier to embark on her campaign overseas.

Hudson clocked 1:39:95 overall on Tuesday, beating Swedish rival Hedda Martelleur by 0.23s with Agnese Aboltina, of Latvia, finishing 0.53s behind the victor.

"We're just really so excited for her and so proud," said Fiona who, with husband John and relatives, have been fundraising to meet the costs of Hudson's campaign since she was a youngster.

She said Hudson had carried the momentum of last winter into this one on a platform of successes.

"She achieved some personal bests in the last northern hemisphere winter and then went on to become the national champion and also win the yellow bibs for the tech races this winter."


Last weekend, Hudson faced the toughest of weather conditions, battling temperatures of -35C and buffeting winds, but managed to maintain a first-run lead to clinch the giant slalom bragging rights.

On the final day of the four-day Far East Cup race series, racers' boots and helmets were cracking due to the cold conditions and faces had to be covered with protective tape to prevent frostbite at Wanlong Ski Resort on Saturday.

"I'm really happy to take the win in China [on Saturday] and score a personal best," said Hudson. "It was a whole new experience racing in -35 degrees so I really had to focus on staying warm and conserving my energy so I could get the job done."

Hudson had finished 0.86s ahead of Sakurako Mukogawa, of Japan, with Daria Krajewska, of Poland, finishing third.

She got on the podium in third place in the slalom event on December 5, along with another fourth place in slalom and fifth in the giant slalom.

Proud parents John and Fiona Hudson. Photo / File
Proud parents John and Fiona Hudson. Photo / File

Fiona said the sub-zero temperatures were testing her daughter's mettle but she had shown tenacity and resilience to take it in her stride.

"She's really having now that sense of self-belief because it's been so difficult when you're from a minority country but when these big federations are congratulating her and spurring her on they recognise how much she has achieved," said Fiona, saluting Hudson's coach, Jonny Rice, for his patience and input.

Hudson, who captured the imagination of the skiing world as a youngster growing up in Tikokino where parents Fiona and John used to be livestock farmers, found cold comfort in her bid to make the New Zealand team to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea in February this year.

It was a cut deeper than the first one of missing out on a spot in the team the Sochi Winter Olympics in Russia in February 2014.

Last winter, Hudson and Rice went back to the drawing board to revisit the blueprint as she aspires to become the first winter Olympian from the Bay in the quest to make the 24th Winter Olympics in Beijing, China, in 2022.

Hudson will reunite with her family at their home in Waimarama this Sunday in anticipation of some balmy Bay weather and heart-warming Christmas.

So what's the Christmas stocking wish for the slick alpine skier?

"She's looking for a primary helmet sponsor so we don't have to fundraise constantly and it'll also increase her profile and her awareness," said Fiona with a laugh.