The rapid rise of Paralympic star Liam Malone has reached a new pinnacle, with his appointment as a Member of the NZ Order of Merit in New Year's Honours.
A champion over 200m and 400m, and silver medallist over his less favoured 100m in Rio, Malone ran times comparable to the best recorded by New Zealand's top athletes, doing so on prosthetic limbs.
The double amputee was born with fibular hemimelia in both legs and turned to the track to counter the affects of depression, following the death of his mother three years ago.
Raising $20,000 for a set of prosthetic blades, Malone (23) showed he had ability to match the technology, proving almost unstoppable on the Paralympic stage.
Earlier this week, Malone told Newstalk ZB he was still assessing his priorities over the next four years, leading up to the defence of his titles in Tokyo 2020.
"The over-riding goal will be to become the fastest person on the planet in four years," he admitted. "That will take a lot of research and development to figure out how we can make that possible from New Zealand.
"The comapny that sponsors me is Icelandic-based, so I might have to spend some time there. In 2017, I've got world champs in London in the middle of the year, but I'm just figuring out everything else I want to do as well.
"I won the lottery of the universe, which is being a human being. It's a pretty fortunate thing to win, so I'm motivated by that all the time."
Malone paid tribute to his parents for helping him believe he could achieve anything, despite the huge challenges faced.
"I have bad days all the time, usually when I'm stuck in Auckland traffic," he told Radio Sport. "I find, to some degree, a sense of humour in moaning - for some reason, I find it hilarious.
"To get past 'I can't', I think you have to have a want to get past it. Whether you think you can or not is not really the problem, it's more about how much you desire to achieve the challenge.
"Surrounding yourself with negative people or naysayers is usually 90% of the problem. Most of the time, you go to your inner circle of people you trust and if one person says 'no', you assume that's the rest of the population giving you feedback and you don't think it's worth it."
Malone joined fellow Paralympians Kate Horan (cycling), swimmer Nikita Howarth (swimming) and Anna Grimaldi (athletics) on the honours list, the others also becoming Members of the NZ Order of Merit.