Hawke's Bay will have a healthy representation of athletes ready to fight for glory at the delayed Tokyo Olympics starting in July.
So far seven Hawke's Bay athletes are confirmed to be heading to Japan in the coming weeks - four hockey players, one cyclist and two rowers.
One of the most notable athletes in her final stages of preparation for the delayed 2020 Olympic Games is single sculler Emma Twigg.
The 34-year-old rower is no stranger to competing on the world stage: this will be her fourth Olympics, having competed at Beijing, London and Rio.
Twigg finished in fourth at the 2016 Olympics – announcing and then renouncing her retirement after the event.
She said this time around, she has a few different motivations for returning and representing New Zealand.
"I probably learnt after the last couple of experiences that you can put in all the effort you want to, but you're not necessarily going to end up with the result that you want," she said.
"I'm doing this for the reasons that I love what I do and I want to inspire the next generation. If I can put my best race together in Tokyo then I can be proud of what I've achieved in the 28 years I've been in the sport."
Twigg said the Evers-Swindell twins, who are also Hawke's Bay born-and-bred, were role models for her during her time at Napier Girls' High School.
"I guess that's pretty crucial when it comes to sport, seeing people that have experienced similar things to you achieving on the world stage, it makes you believe that you can too," she said.
She added that the local upbringing has helped not only other rowers, like 24-year-old Tom Mackintosh who is part of the New Zealand men's eight, but also the Hawke's Bay hockey scene.
"What Hawke's Bay's done, especially in the hockey with their investment in our national teams, is pretty special, now we're reaping the rewards of that," Twigg added.
Along with Black Sticks veteran Shea McAleese, 36, who has more than 300 caps for his country, Hawke's Bay players Dylan Thomas, Olivia Shannon and Sean Findlay will be heading to Tokyo next month.
Current Black Sticks Under-21 Player of the Year Sean Findlay will make his Olympic debut in Tokyo, after only making the national squad for the first time in 2021.
The 19-year-old midfielder scored on his debut for New Zealand against Australia in May.
Hawke's Bay midfielder Dylan Thomas, 24, first made the national squad in 2019, but this will be his first Olympic Games.
Black Sticks Women's striker Olivia Shannon is another young talent out of Hawke's Bay making her Olympic debut in Tokyo this year.
The Under-21 Player of the Year and former Iona College student has 29 appearances for New Zealand and four goals.
Waipukurau-born track cyclist Regan Gough will be competing in Tokyo in the Men's Team Pursuit.
Gough fell agonisingly short of a medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, finishing fourth in the team pursuit alongside Pieter Bulling, Aaron Gate and Dylan Kennett.
The 24-year-old Hawke's Bay rider comes from a highly successful cycling family, his cousin Westley was a double Olympic medalist on the track in Beijing and London.
Hawke's Bay runner Eric Speakman, who had hoped to qualify for the 5000m at Tokyo, posted on social media last week that an unsuccessful attempt in Nice, France, would be his last attempt at qualifying. Technically, Speakman has until June 22 to qualify.
New Zealand Football is due to announce both the men's and women's Olympic squads on June 25, with a number of current and former players in contention to receive call-ups for the squads, which could include some Hawke's Bay players.