The Herald continues its series on 12 Kiwi athletes or teams to keep an eye on at the Games - whether for their medal potential, rapid global rise, or captivating road to Tokyo. This is the story of Jaime Nielsen.
Many thoughts could cross Jaime Nielsen's mind today when she takes her mark to race in the track cycling women's team pursuit.
Her 2-year-old daughter, Georgia, watching her on the television at home.
How narrowly her team missed out on a medal in both Rio and London.
And how this could be her final shot at Olympic glory.
But, says the 35-year-old Hamiltonian, none of these will be front of mind. Instead, she would be sternly focused on staying present.
"I think it's really special to try and embrace those moments and just imprint them in my memory," she told the Herald.
"It's just about embracing every opportunity and this is such a huge one. It's easy to let the nerves take hold a little bit and I've just got to remember to stay present and fully enjoy it."
For 14 years, Nielsen has seen great success on the track - yet cycling wasn't her first love.
Between 2003 and 2007, she competed with the national rowing team and became a world champion at the under-23 World Rowing Championship in Poland.
Her transition to cycling came courtesy of the Power to Podium initiative - a talent identification programme which aimed to recruit new riders for development.
Her rapid rise to cycling fame started with silver and bronze medals at the UCI Track Cycling World Champs in 2009 and 2011 before making her Olympic debut in London.
Nielsen then won the New Zealand time trial championships in 2014, and went on to finish fourth in Rio.
Tokyo was always in her sights, yet the arrival of daughter Georgia in late 2018 complicated things, Nielsen admits.
"When Georgia came, I knew I wanted to include her in this journey and she does love it when I get on the bike, she loves coming to training and my mum watches her for me. It's so much more rich having her as part of this journey," she said.
"[But] it's just a balancing act and I'm switching hats between being a mum and jumping on the bike and being an athlete."
Nielsen admitted returning to sport after giving birth was far more of a challenge than she expected.
"There were some areas of my body that just didn't recover as quick as what I had thought," she said. "But then at the same time, I'm so impressed by the human body, what it does and how much we can do.
"I've surprised myself and learnt that I'm capable of so much more than I thought I was."
Including a toddler as part of the already heavily disrupted journey to the Tokyo Olympics due to Covid-19, meant Nielsen had to adapt.
But just as the pandemic helped shape athletes in many positive ways, she said managing life as a mum has made her a far better rider.
"I've grown such an awareness that it's not just a one-person thing, there are so many people involved," she said. "My little girl back home is a huge motivation for me.
"I'm a lot more efficient, usually when I plan my day I have a set window for my mum to watch Georgia and that is my time frame so there's no procrastinating. I also balance my time with Georgia so I spend real quality time with her and then I feel happy with that life balance and I can give so much more."
Nielsen made a picture book explaining her Olympic journey to Georgia with a sticker page counting down the days until her return home - a heartwarming souvenir she'll no doubt keep forever - and one that might become a memory book of sorts documenting her final campaign.
Although she hasn't reached a definitive decision yet, Nielsen said retirement had been playing on her mind recently.
"Because it's been five years, it is quite intense and I think I'll take a couple of months to enjoy some freedom, like a break, let my head clear a bit, and spend some time deciding what the next phase will be."
A spot on the podium could make that decision easier for Nielsen as she expressed excitement over where they were at as a team.
"We are preparing ourselves to go out and do a time that we've never done before, to go faster than we've ever been," she said. "I know that there's going to be some fast times laid down so I really hope we can make everyone proud."
The women's team pursuit qualifier gets under way at 6.54pm (NZT) tonight.