If Valerie Adams becomes the first New Zealander to win gold medals at three consecutive Olympics, she will likely top this list ahead of the Tokyo Games in 2020.
Among Kiwis, only Adams, runner Peter Snell, rowers Dick Joyce, Caroline and Georgina Evers-Swindell, coxswain Simon Dickie, kayakers Ian Ferguson and Paul MacDonald and equestrian rider Mark Todd have won golds at consecutive Games.
Breaking barriers are nothing new for Adams. She is the only woman to win four consecutive shot put world championships, set a record 56 straight victories at international-ranked meets between August 2010 and July 2015, and became the first female thrower to be awarded the world governing body's 'athlete of the year' title.
Adams even shattered the gender divide in Tonga when appointed the first woman matapule or chief from her village Houma.
She and Soviet Tamara Press (1960 and 1964) are the only female shot putters to win back-to-back Olympic titles.
The only barrier seemingly beyond her arc is the world record. Adams' best performance of 21.24m, set at the 2011 world championships in South Korea, ranks her 23rd on the all-time distance list. The 22.63m world record was set by Soviet Natalya Lisovskaya at Moscow in June 1987.
Adams suffered the indignity of 'losing' to Belarusian drug cheat Nadzheya Ostapchuk at the London Olympics. She had no option but to accept silver on the dais but later received gold from then Governor-General, Sir Jerry Mateparae, at a ceremony in Auckland.
As a 19-year-old at her maiden Games in Athens she missed the top eight and the opportunity for three more throws. Four of those ahead of her have since received doping bans.
However, a put of 20.05m to win the Monaco Diamond League this month, against the majority of her key rivals, places her in contention to win a third gold. It was her first competitive throw beyond 20m since 2014.
Adams often refers to driving her 'bus', a metaphor of inclusivity for those assisting her sporting ambitions. Coach Jean-Pierre Egger is one passenger at the core of her Olympic dream, much like former mentor Kirsten Hellier in 2008.
Egger met Adams 14 years ago in Auckland when working as strength and conditioning coach for Alinghi in the America's Cup build-up.
"I immediately recognised the possibilities," he said. "I remember saying to Kirsten, 'you have gold in your hands'."
Adams decided she wanted to work with Egger fulltime in 2010 after a short stint with Didier Poppe.
"He's like a father to me. I love the man," Adams said. "I'm like his long-lost child. He looks after me as a person as much as an athlete. We can talk about anything: politics, religion, family, you name it.
"Jean-Pierre has two daughters and I say to them 'thank you for lending me your father'. [His wife] Beatrice has been loving and supportive as well."
There are two constants in Adams career personnel. The first is her "Lou-li-belle", physiotherapist Louise Johnson. She has often given Adams the support and physical motivation to keep competing.
The second are the fans from her South Auckland origins. A rare home appearance at The Cloud in March 2013 brought a wave of support from those who witnessed Adams rise as a beacon of hope from their midst.
Their "Val" broke the shackles of a difficult childhood to be crowned on the world sporting stage. Few will root for her more on August 12 in Rio.
Biography: Val Adams
Adams is a four-time world champion, three-time world indoor champion, two-time Olympic champion and three-time Commonwealth champion.
• She is one of only nine athletes, a group which also includes Usain Bolt, to win world championships at the youth, junior, and senior level of an athletic event.
• At her first Olympics, in 2004, Adams finished seventh, while still recovering from an appendectomy she had just weeks before the competition.
• Her youngest sibling is NBA basketballer Steven Adams and two other brothers have played professional basketball in New Zealand.
How we did it
This list was drawn up by expert Herald and Radio Sport journalists from our team covering the Rio Olympics.
It wasn't easy, partly because of the number of fantastic feats over the last century or so and partly because of the difficulty of comparing performances across sports and eras.
The first ground rule was that only gold medallists would be considered. That was tough considering the likes of Nick Willis (silver, 2008), Dick Quax (silver, 1976), Paul Kingsman (bronze, 1988) and Bevan Docherty (silver and bronze, 2004 & 2008) provided some of our most memorable Olympic moments.
We also agreed potential success in Rio wouldn't be taken into account. The list was also restricted to the Summer Olympics, otherwise Annelise Coberger, our only Winter Olympics medallist may have featured quite prominently.
Each member of the panel wrote their own list before we came together to thrash it out five at a time. It was a head-scratcher, but in a good way because it was a celebration of success.
List so far