Gold Coast-based Wellingtonian Emma Robinson said it has taken some time to sink in that she is heading to her first Olympic Games.
The 21 year old will contest the 800m freestyle alongside her idol Lauren Boyle.
“It took a while to hit me that I am going. It is a dream I have had as a kid and now it is going to happen,” Robinson said from her training camp with Boyle in Threadbo, New South Wales.
Emma first sparked her interest in the Olympics at primary school when she was selected to meet the Evers-Swindell twins who visited her school following their gold medal victory at the Athens Olympics.
“That experience set a fire in me.”
While she believes a medal is out of her reach, Emma has two major aims for Rio.
“I will be racing to make the final which I think I can achieve. And I am really targeting 2020, so I want to learn as much as possible from this experience.”
Rio is the next stepping stone for Emma who went the world championships in open water in 2013, then the Commonwealth Games and Pan pacific Games in the pool in 2014 and her first full world championships in the pool last year.
“The key will be not to get too overwhelmed. Nerves are good because they make you swim faster.”
She will look to Boyle for much of her inspiration and direction.
“She is so grounded all the time, such a great competitor and great friend. She is always there for the team.”
Emma is not concerned at the planned change of format in Rio with heats in the afternoon and finals late at night.
“It will be a matter of adjusting the body clock – that’s all. We will get to sleep in and go to bed later.”