It's been about one year since para-cycling duo Emma Foy and Hannah van Kampen came together and to say it's been successful is an understatement.
In total, the Cambridge-based pair were crowned world champions twice in 2019 at both the UCI Para Cycling Track World Championships in March and the UCI Para Cycling Road World Championships in August, both held in the Netherlands.
Read more: Foy and van Kampen get gold
The pair took home two gold medals in the women's B 3kn individual track pursuit and the women's blind/vision impaired (BVI) 81.4 km road race. To top it off, Foy and van Kampen grabbed bronze in the women's BVI 1km track time trial and silver in the 25km road time trial.
For 30-year-old Foy, originally from Dargaville, and 26-year-old van Kampen, originally from Hawke's Bay, to earn for medals including two golds across two world para cycling events in the space of six months is immense, and it shows the incredible effort the pair put into their sport.
However, an even more impressive and daunting task is on the horizon. As of today, there are just 289 days until the Paralympics in Tokyo, Japan, where Foy and van Kampen will compete in the four aforementioned races, but in the space of just 10 days.
"Everything we do, it's really cool at the time but it's the Paralympics, that is the thing that counts, the ultimate goal," Foy said with a steely tone.
"Although we can do these things in March and August, next year we have to do it all in the space of 10 days so that's the challenge."
While that Paralympic mountain might seem to tall to climb, Foy is no stranger to overcoming obstacles. This year's successes saw her earn her fifth world champion status together with a rider she teamed up with only 12 months ago.
"To do that with someone else and with another coach and these new people, it's quite satisfying and also that's a really big confidence boost for Hannah as it was her first world title," Foy said.
Leslie wins big at Māori sports awards
Foy, who moved from Northland to Auckland to study before leaving for Wellington and finally Cambridge, made a rare trip home last weekend as the special guest at the Kaipara Sports Awards in Maungaturoto, where she also picked up the Achievement Beyond Our Region award.
To compete in para sports, Foy also had to overcome obstacles of a physical nature. Born with oculocutaneous albinism which affects retina and optic nerve development, Foy can access only five to 10 per cent of her vision.
While she didn't notice it much as a child, Foy slowly understood how her impaired vision made life difficult through her schooling and into adulthood.
"You're living in a world where everything is not designed for you so it might be getting to the velodrome, I live 10 minutes drive away but I have to try to organise a taxi or catch a bus.
"It is challenging but on the other hand, it makes me who I am so it means I have to be very organised, my time management skills are all good for that reason."
Foy explained how her limited vision even proved to be an asset on the bike, as it made her focus on her other senses during their road race win in the Netherlands in August.
"We were in a big bunch and it's really noisy and Hannah's obviously looking around, but I listen and you can hear the click when people go down a gear and that's means they are potentially going to get out of the saddle and try to attack," she said.
"I heard that happen over on the right of the bunch and you could hear the wheels starting to grip against the road as they put the pressure down.
"I just said to Hannah, 'look right' and she looked and that was one of the other bikes having a go, I half-reacted before she did."
Foy said she got a lot of satisfaction from proving her potential to those who might doubt her.
"When people see me do stuff that any other able-bodied athlete is doing, that's really satisfying and that's how I like to do it, lead by example not just talk about it."
While she acknowledged opportunities in para sports had grown immensely since her teenage years, Foy said events such as her races needed to be broadcasted more to increase the exposure of para sports.
"New Zealand invests a lot of money into us and our programmes, and I feel like New Zealanders should be able to see what we do.
"Personally, I don't really like being on TV, in the spotlight but it's really important, it exposes people to what they can do."
Looking ahead to the Paralympics, Foy was determined take their success in 2019 to the next level with a world record time in the 3km individual track pursuit as well as medals in the three other races.
"We are tracking towards that and I want to set big goals for us, I'm not here to muck around, I want to do something amazing that people can't deny," she said.
"That's a huge ask to do in 10 days, it'll be hard but if it was easy it wouldn't be as exciting."