It must suck every fourth year being a male sevens player in this country. They slog their guts out on a demanding and relentless circuit for half the pay of Super Rugby players and a fraction of the exposure, all the time being driven by the knowledge that their hard work and commitment could lead to the Olympics.
But here's the kicker, now that the full-time group of sevens players has ensured New Zealand will be playing in Tokyo next year, they have been told they were merely keeping the jerseys warm for their XV-a-side brethren who are allowed to treat the Olympics as a bucket list item.
It was the same in 2016 and yet no lessons have apparently been learned. New Zealand bombed in Rio when sevens was an Olympic sport for the first time.
Former Fijian coach Ben Ryan, in his excellent memoirs of his time in the Pacific, reveals that he felt New Zealand were stale and over-trained — that they had an almost archaic approach to conditioning and were an unhappy team.
He suggests the biggest problem was veteran coach Gordon Tietjens but it could hardly have helped team unity that New Zealand Rugby had been so determined to inject new, high profile talent into the team so close to the games.
It's understandable NZR wanted to open the Olympic door to all professional players.
For those who are maybe lacking the necessary cynicism, the Olympics remain the world's greatest sporting showpiece: the biggest stage of all.
NZR felt in 2016 it was the right thing to make it feasible and easy for XV-a-side players, including All Blacks, to have a crack at making the Olympic sevens team.
They made sure there was no financial impediment stopping All Blacks from trying out — their salaries would be covered should they be picked and Super Rugby teams would be given additional budget to pick replacement players.
But while it was understandable NZR wanted to create a path for everyone, it felt like a giant slap in the face for the full-time sevens crew who had dedicated their lives to playing the abbreviated game.
It felt NZR was giving them a clear message — that they were trusted to qualify the team for the Olympics but not fulfil the stated strategic objective of winning a gold medal.
The likes of Sonny Bill Williams, Liam Messam, Rieko and Akira Ioane and Augustine Pulu could put their XV-a-side careers on hold to get the job done for NZR in Rio.
They would be paid better than their regular sevens teammates and have the guarantee of resuming their Super Rugby and test careers once the Olympics were over.
Those contracted sevens players who missed out were presumably expected to be at home in front of the box — cheering wildly for the blokes who had taken their place — and wait for their recall once the glitz and glamour was over and the team got back to the grind of playing on the less followed World Series circuit.
That never felt right and obviously, given how poorly the team performed in Rio, it wasn't such a great idea drafting in the heavyweights.
It was no wonder they were viewed as an unhappy team.
And yet the same thing is going to happen this time around.
A select group of Super Rugby players will be sounded out about going to Tokyo, and if any take up the offer, it will be red carpet treatment again.
The point is, it is massively insulting to the full-time sevens players to believe that regular XV-a-side players, even All Blacks, will be able to play a couple of sevens tournaments before the Olympics and prove they are the better selection.
Sevens is its own game, with its own nuances, and there's a bit more to it than being fit, fast and skilled.
No matter how much NZR wants the men to deliver a gold medal next year in Tokyo, surely the best way to do that is to trust the contracted sevens players to get the job done.
They are not, after all, paving the way for the XV-a-side Black Ferns stars to give sevens a go.
The national body doesn't need to view the Olympics as something it must open to all and sundry. There are players who have made sevens their career. They specialise in it and many have no desire or plan to play XV-a-side rugby.
These are the only players who should be in the selection frame for the Olympics. After all, while they haven't had the greatest campaign, they were still good enough to win two tournaments and make the final in two others.