Getting up in the wee hours of the morning to take their 10-year-old son, Carl, to swimming training has paid dividends for proud Rotorua parents Simon and Barbara O'Donnell.
The pair will jet off to England at the end of the month to watch their 25-year-old son compete in the men's 4x100m medley relay at this year's London Olympics.
In the past, Rotorua has had several swimmers who have represented New Zealand at various championships; William Whareaitu (1934 Empire Games), Margaret Macrae (1962 Empire Games and Commonwealth Games), Max Webb, Donna McRae (1967), Ian Curry (1970 Commonwealth Games), Jane Lowe (1973 World champs) and Kane Radford (2006 World champs). However, Carl is the first Rotorua swimmer to compete at an Olympics.
Simon said he was proud of what his son had achieved.
"I look at all that work he's put into it and, yeah, I'm pretty proud of what Carl has achieved."
The proud dad said it had all been worthwhile for the couple taking a young Carl to a lot of his trainings.
"Right from a 10-year-old, his dream was to swim at the Olympics. It means quite a lot to us he has made the team, we used to get up early to take him to training."
Simon said his son was ecstatic when he made the squad.
"It means everything to him. This has been his goal for a long time. He's had to bide his time and had many setbacks.
"There were times [in the past] when he missed out on making the team by a fraction of a second. But he stuck in there ..."
The Tuhoe and Ngati Awa descendant will swim the final leg of the relay; the 100m freestyle. He is joined by his teammates Daniel Bell (butterfly), Glen Snyders (breaststroke) and Gareth Kean (backstroke).
Carl's form leading into the Olympics has been dynamic. At this year's swimming champs, he clocked a personal best 50.11s for the 100m. The team are ranked in the top eight and if they make the A final anything can happen.
The favourites for the event are the Americans who hold the World and Olympic record of 3.29.34 set at the last Olympic games.
New Zealand made that final, finishing fifth in a time of 3.33.39. Australia picked up the silver and Japan the bronze.
The Kiwis have a mix of experience in the team with both Bell and Snyders competing at the last Olympics.
Carl, a former Rotorua Boys' High School student, is in a training camp in Cairns with the New Zealand swimming squad and is expected to return to New Zealand in two weeks before heading for another training camp in Belgium before going to London.
Rotorua has nine Olympians at this year's games. Including Carl, they are Valerie Adams, Sam Bewley, Lisa Carrington, Mike Dawson, Julia Edward, Karen Hanlen, Luuka Jones and Sarah Walker.
Cyclist Julian Dean, who broke his leg this year, is still a possibility to make the games but a decision on his inclusion won't be made for a couple of weeks.