Rachel Loader was met with lots of cheering and hugs from friends and family when she crossed the finish line on her mountain bike.
It was clear the Mount Maunganui Intermediate School pupil was equally proud of her efforts as they were of her.
The teenager has always wanted to compete in the AIMS Games and this week her dream came true.
Rachel lives with a cerebral visual impairment meaning she struggles with spatial awareness and timing.
Mum Paula said Rachel underwent plenty of rehabilitation as a baby and remembered asking a physiotherapist how she could teach her daughter how to ride a bike.
"She didn't ride a bike until she was about 5 and a half years old," Paula said.
At age 7, Rachel rode her first mountain bike and fell in love and soon began to ride in the Redwoods in Rotorua with her dad Tony.
"He is Coach Dad."
As she got older, Rachel wanted to enter in the AIMS Games.
"For years she has talked about going to Mount Maunganui Intermediate and going to the AIMS Games," Paula said.
Initially, Rachel wanted to enter in horse riding but that wasn't an option.
"Last year for school speeches, she wrote a speech about how she thought horse riding should be in the AIMS Games," Paula said.
"Her big aim was to be in the AIMS. She is really fit and she trialled last year, but she didn't get in. This year she could ride in the mountain biking."
Her one goal was to finish the race - and she did.
There to meet her at the finish line were her parents and 10-year-old sister Sophie, who held back tears after being overwhelmed by how "proud" she was.
"Absolutely proud of Rachel, she's slogged it out really well," Tony said.
Rachel finished 12th place in the event but claimed first place in the team event with fellow rider Poppy Lane, who won gold in the Year 8 individual event.
"Her grit and determination got her through to the finish line," Paula said. "She's stoked, she's a very happy girl."
Rachel said the hills were tough but she kept pushing herself to finish the race because it was her dream to compete in the tournament.
"I just had a great time and I'm very proud of myself," Rachel said.
Mountain Biking event director Tristan Haycock said it was cool to see so many young people get involved in AIMS Games' first mountain biking event, with 200 kids entered.
"To have this in AIMS Games opens a lot of doors," Haycock said. "It's great to see everyone out having fun."
The endurance mountain bike athlete said he wasn't any good at the sport at their age, which proves any one of them can succeed in the sport.
"At this age, I was never any good at mountain biking," he said. "I was never any good at any sport but I was competitive and it was fun."