Eight Northlanders, including sailor Blair Tuke and 7s rugby powerhouse Portia Woodman, have been selected in the 211-member New Zealand team for the Tokyo Olympics.
Others include hockey players Katie Doar, Ella Gunson and Stacey Michelsen, Abby Erceg and Hannah Wilkinson who will compete in football, and swimmer Hayley McIntosh.
Whangārei-born McIntosh, 22, attended Northwave Swim Club and trained for several years under Monica Cooper before moving to Auckland.
Among the awards she has won over the years is the Swimming New Zealand Award for Northern Zone Emerging Swimmer in 2017.
Meanwhile, Whangārei-based Simone Ackermann will compete for her country of birth, South Africa, after the 27-year-old activated dual citizenship to pursue her Olympic dream after her non-selection for New Zealand at the previous Olympics.
She had been part of Triathlon New Zealand's high-performance squad.
Although disappointed not to make the NZ team in 2016, the 31-year-old said she was proud to be racing for South Africa, which has a really strong team this year.
"It has always been my goal to race at the Olympics and to be given a chance to show what I can do at the highest level of the sport."
Ackermann said she has been fortunate to receive tutelage under former athletics coaches Ian Babe, Jon Brown, and Stephen Farrell, and that it has been incredible seeing how they conducted themselves and what they have achieved.
Competing in the Olympics, she said, reflected an acknowledgment the work she has put in over the years has been worth it, and was a way to give something back to those who have supported her over the years.
She is hoping for a top-16 finish in the individual race, but says the race in the relay is wide open.
Babe said he noticed Ackermann was showing a real interest in being good at things like swimming, but unfortunately couldn't be selected for New Zealand due to the level of competition.
"She's determined, a dedicated trainer who always wants to train smart and be the best she can be. She's one of the athletes you can rely on to do the job."