In a five-part series, the Herald is profiling New Zealand Olympians going for gold at Rio 2016. The films feature exclusive access to top athletes and get to the heart of what makes an Olympian. They will be released every Friday throughout July. The third of the series profiles trampolinist Dylan Schmidt.

Dylan Schmidt will next month do what no other Kiwi has done before - represent New Zealand in trampoline at an Olympic Games.

It's been his goal since he was 12 when he won the under-13 world title. Schmidt also won gold at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014. But he's had his disappointments too.

Crashing is common and for almost two years Schmidt struggled to execute his moves in finals.


"I learnt a lot from that and I've taken away key learnings about the pressures I have in competitions and I've learnt to control that and to compete better."

The Herald had the opportunity to watch Schmidt train at his club in Auckland and got an insight into the "cut-throat" sport.

"It's all over in a flash. Sometimes I get off the tramp and I don't even remember what happened. That's how fast it goes."

Making of an Olympian

Sarah Goss is the leader of a group of women who call each other sisters. The 23-year old will captain the New Zealand women’s sevens team of 12 in their historic first ever Olympic campaign. A year ago, they were red hot favourites for gold in Rio, but a difficult season has seen Australia not only catch but surpass the kiwis. However Goss and the team are acutely aware of the opportunity they have and what winning a gold medal could do for women’s rugby “ we are one of the few female athletes in New Zealand that get paid to do something we really love, and we’re pioneers to a legacy”. The Herald spent the day with Goss at her new home in Mount Maunganui. While she is a proud product of Manawatu, Goss has found an outlet from life as a professional athlete in the waters of the famous Bay of Plenty surf beach “It gets my head away from rugby. I don’t have to worry about training or leading, it’s just me, the wave and the surfboard and I’m able to clear my head and be Sarah”.
They're about the closest thing you get to a sure thing in sailing. Four-time world champion 49er pairing Peter Burling and Blair Tuke head to Rio as one of New Zealand’s top medal hopes.