For Raumati couple Matt Warren and Karen Simpson-Warren, heading to Tokyo to be officials at the Olympic and Paralympic games is a great honour.
They might not be able to sightsee because of the current pandemic, but the couple are confident there are protocols in place to keep them safe.
"We're in a little bubble in New Zealand," Matt said.
"Overseas they're doing events every week and because they've been doing lots of events they've learnt how to safely get people in and out of the country.
"It's the norm over there to wear a mask and they've been working on their protocols for the last 12 months.
"I feel really safe going over to the Olympics because of the procedures they've put in place."
And protocols start before Matt and Karen get on the plane for Tokyo.
Already fully vaccinated, the couple will start monitoring their health 14 days before they leave using a dedicated app.
"Starting 14 days out I have to monitor my health and put all these things into a health app such as my temperature and how I'm feeling before I go.
"When we arrive we will be going straight to the hotel and into a bubble with the rest of the canoeing officials.
"It might be the most boring trip to Japan ever without any sightseeing," Karen said.
"You have to wear a mask except when you're eating, showering and sleeping."
Both will be officiating at canoeing events with Matt being a starter at the Olympics, and Karen the chief judge at the Paralympics.
"We feel honoured they've selected us into quite responsible roles," Karen said.
The couple started officiating when Karen started working for Canoeing NZ, running their events with Matt heading along to support.
"I got into it by accident," Matt said.
Going along to help Karen with the events she was running for Canoeing NZ, there was an event in Rotorua with no starter.
"So Karen said to me you're going to have to go and start the races.
"So I went and started races, and that was the start of my officiating."
There have been ups and downs since with some events held on brilliant days where it's sunny and warm and other days where you can only see half way to the finish line.
"I've been standing there in torrential rain, in an aluminium boat with a steel start gun up in the air and lightning hitting the hills around me," Matt said.
"For us there's a fine line between fulfilling everyone's race needs and keeping everyone safe, but we do it for the athletes," Karen said.
"The ethos around officiating is we want to give the athletes their best race.
"We want it to be set up so they don't have to worry about fairness or anything.
"Officials aren't there to disqualify people, they're there to give the athletes their best race so they can just do their thing."
At a regatta, the couple are normally at opposite ends of the lake with Matt starting and Karen in the finish tower.
"We have the luxury of having a finish tower at the nationals when they are held at Lake Karapiro," Karen said.
"I'm usually nice and toasty in the portacom or control tower while Matt's out freezing on the lake."
At the Paralympics Karen's role is chief judge.
"I'll be controlling the comings and goings of the event and controlling the finish line, what's happening on the water and liaising with the staff."
Asked if they were nervous about officiating at the biggest event on the international sporting calendar, Karen said, "I feel like I know what I'm doing now, so I'm not too nervous for the Paralympics."
Matt said, "You use the same process whether you're at the world championships with the top in the world, or the under-12s at a local event. You use the same process and the same mindset.
"In saying that, it's pretty nerve-racking on the start line when you've got the final of the women's 200m and Lisa Carrington is lining up to race."
Matt heads off to the Olympics on July 29 with Karen leaving for the Paralympics at the end of August.
"It's been a bumpy road to get there and it will be the most unusual event but the Japanese people and International Olympic Committee have put in place measures that will keep people as safe as possible," Matt said.
Joining Matt at the Olympics will be Kiwi Alison Harris who has been selected as deputy chief judge for canoeing.