Hawke's Bay rower Tom Mackintosh has revealed the moment a star team-mate performed a "criminal offence" in the dying stages of their gold-medal winning men's eight final in Tokyo.
Mackintosh proudly returned home to Hawke's Bay with his shiny gold medal on Thursday to visit his family.
Speaking to Hawke's Bay Today while relaxing at his parents' home in Havelock North, Mackintosh reflected on his becoming an "MIQ expert" - as well as recalling the final 400m of the now-famous victory.
"I remember [with] about 400m to go Hamish [Bond] looked out of the boat, which is actually somewhat of a criminal offence in rowing - but he has the pedigree he can do that. He looked out and saw that we had three or four metres on the rest of the field and just started yelling 'go, go, go' and that was a good gee-up for everyone," he said.
He would never forget those moments after crossing the finish line.
"I asked Hamish 'did we win' and he said 'yes, we did'.
"And I looked up at the big screen and it had NZL and it was above Germany and Great Britain. That will be forever etched in my mind, just seeing New Zealand on the top of the world on the big screen there."
After the race, he had a chance to catch up with fellow Hawke's Bay rower Emma Twigg, who also won gold earlier the same day.
"In the moment we had, we were just saying how good the Bay was," he said.
"I said something along the lines of 'oh man I'm stoked to be from the Bay' and she said 'yeah, me too'."
Mackintosh said it was wonderful to see his parents, Bridget and Jock, since arriving home on the last flight into the region last Thursday, before lockdown restrictions prevented any further travel.
"We had a big hug and I think dad was just so stoked, he gave me the old punch in the arm and said congrats," he said.
He added he hugged his mum and showed her the medal and was now thoroughly enjoying her home cooking.
Mackintosh, 24, has become something of an "MIQ expert" during the last few months and said he was looking forward to the latest Covid lockdown ending.
Following a regatta in Switzerland, he then went into an isolation bubble with NZ Rowing in the lead up to Tokyo.
"When we flew to Tokyo we were in a bubble there as well and you are in semi-isolation with social distancing, kind of like a level 2 or level 3 here.
"Then when we came home we had two more weeks of MIQ [in Christchurch] and three days of freedom, which was nice to see people and shake some hands … and now we are back into level 4.
"So, since around May, I guess I have been in MIQ or self-isolation or our own team bubble.
"So it will be nice to see everyone (when this lockdown ends)."
He has plans to go skiing, show the medal to plenty of friends and family, and work on his university studies in the coming months, before returning to Cambridge where NZ Rowing is based at Lake Karapiro.
Mackintosh grew up in Hawke's Bay and attended Hereworth School in Havelock North and Lindisfarne College, Hastings.