Bay of Plenty paddlers have taken all three places in the New Zealand team to contest the canoe and kayak events at the Youth Olympics in October.
Finn Anderson, 15, (Tauranga Boys' College), Kahlia Cullwick, 14, (Mount Maunganui College) and George Snook, 14, (Rotorua Lakes High School) will fly the Kiwi flag on the water in Buenos Aries.
Anderson will contest the men's C1 event, Cullwick the women's C1 and Snook the men's K1. Snook is a member of New Zealand's under 18 canoe slalom team and is in Munich training for the ICF Junior World Championships in Italy in July.
The three paddlers secured their spots at the Youth Olympic Games qualification event in Barcelona in April. They have all come through the Canoe Slalom NZ Development Squad and will race in both the slalom and sprint disciplines at the Youth Olympic Games.
Anderson says he is proud to be following in the footsteps of the Bay of Plenty's Olympic slalom athletes Mike Dawson and Luuka Jones.
"It's pretty good having a couple of awesome athletes like them to look up to. Luuka winning that silver medal at Rio was huge. It's pretty cool to show we can do that as a southern hemisphere country," he says.
"The (Youth Olympics) is pretty awesome. It is a once in a lifetime opportunity at this age to compete overseas with a team of New Zealanders. I am looking forward to the atmosphere and all the competition and the other athletes."
Anderson will be one of the favoured athletes to medal in his events.
"I got second in the qualifications, and the guy who got first is not going. Everyone is going to be a lot better over there, but I am looking to be up there," he says.
Cullwick agrees it is going to be a special time in their lives.
"I am super excited for the event and meeting all the people there and being part of an incredible New Zealand team,' she says.
"There will be a lot of work before we go, but it should be fun. How well I do could well depend on how the training goes. There is definitely a chance."
Canoe Slalom Bay of Plenty coach Matt McKnight expects the New Zealanders to stack up well against the world's best young paddlers.
"It's pretty amazing for us to get three spots and these guys have a good chance over there. They work hard and train at least four hours a week for slalom then three hours for sprint, and we'll do another big training push ahead of Buenos Aires," McKnight says.
"It is a complete unknown what is going to happen there. It is anyone's game. There are about 20 athletes who have qualified to be there, and everyone is good and has a chance to win it."
McKnight says the achievements of the young paddlers is a big deal for the sport in Bay of Plenty.
"We have been really lucky to have representative honours from Luuka Jones and Mike Dawson but now we are starting to see it feed down the chain and that Olympic dream can continue.
"For Finn and Kahlia it might be four or maybe eight years' time before we see them hopefully at the Olympics on a senior level."
Oliver Puchner from Tauranga Boys' is the non-travelling reserve for Anderson in the Men's C1 Events.
Summer Youth Olympics
The third edition of the Summer Youth Olympic Games, October 6-18, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
The Summer Youth Olympic Games is an elite international multi-sport event for the world's best young athletes between the ages of 15 and 18.
Buenos Aires 2018 will be the first time that an Olympic event has had an equal number of male and female athletes. There will be 1999 women and 1999 men competing in the 32 sports.