South African athlete, born in Bloemfontein, in the province of Orange (South Africa) on May 8, 1966. Daughter of a farmer, started practicing Athletics of background and background in 1982; and in 1984, when he/she was eighteen years of age, he/she participated in the South African Championship, where he/she broke the world record in the 5,000 meters.
That year South Africa was excluded from international sport because of its policy of apartheid, so that Budd was in serious difficulties to participate in the Olympic Games of los Angeles. Shortly after, an Envoy of the London newspaper Daily Mail offered him the possibility of moving to London and take up residence in Exchange for a sum of money there and run with the name of the newspaper on the t-shirt.
Zola accepted, received 40 million pesetas and traveled to London with his family; but problems arose when he/she was manipulated by the newspaper. However, on April 6, 1984, the British immigration service delivered the Passport to Zola and, as British athlete, he/she participated in the Olympic Games of Los Angeles, where he/she ran the 3,000 meters.
In the same race racing his arch-rival, Mary Decker. The fight between the two runners finished in authentic disaster to fasten the legs of the two. Decker fell on the track with big headaches. Budd remained standing and finished the race, came in seventh place.
In 1985 he/she won the European Cup in the 3,000 m and set a new world record in 5,000 m with 14 min 48,07 sec in London. In 1986 he/she also broke the 3,000 m indoor world record. In 1988 he/she returned to South Africa, under whose banner competed in the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, with the name of Zola Pieterse.