Holly Edmondston has never felt more prepared.
The Waimate track cyclist flew to Tokyo on Monday to represent New Zealand in the team pursuit and omnium at the Olympic Games.
It came with a great deal of satisfaction for Edmondston, who has battled through back injuries and endometriosis surgery to get there.
“I’ve got to this point after a lot of struggle, and I can say that I’m really happy with how I’m prepared for this Games. I know that I’ll be able to leave it all out on the line,” Edmondston said.
“I’m really excited because now that we’re tapering we just know that all of the hard work and all of that heartache and tears . . . it’s all worth it.”
The Tokyo Olympics 2020 are now under way after a year-long postponement in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The delay had helped Edmondston in her preparation.
Edmondston previously went through cycles of training too hard and then breaking, and understanding what consistency looked like for her body was a major shift. She also focused on nutrition and changed her diet to cut out gluten and lactose.
“My gut was my hugest problem in cycling and being stressed out from a lot of things was definitely a huge enabler of IBS and endometriosis. Getting on top of it and finding the root cause was another big step in the right direction.
“I just feel like a whole new person in a way. I’m beyond ready for this period of my life. I’m fully confident in those words, and once I wasn’t so confident.”
The former St Kevin’s College pupil will compete in the team pursuit on Tuesday and the omnium next Sunday, the latter just hours before the closing ceremony.
Her team would spend three days on the track learning the different banks and corners – “everything’s slightly different, no track is the same” – and that would provide the foundation for her team come race day.
They would live in a “satellite village” and were unable to interact with other athletes during the Games due to Covid-19.
“We’re fully ready for it.
“I have quite a lot of faith in my team and all of the staff to kind of navigate those sort of areas.”
There was another element this year’s athletes would miss out on – the crowd, as spectators were banned as a result of Covid-19.
However, it did not appear to phase Edmondston, who thought the change could actually benefit her.
“I don’t think it changes. The nerves are still there in the same way – you know that everyone’s watching on television.
“Sometimes the crowd just adds that extra unnecessary stress.
“It’ll probably be better for us to allow a bit more focus.”
After going through the hard work and shifting her lifestyle, Edmondston was more than ready to get on the track.
“I can’t wait to do my home proud. All of those places that I call home – Oamaru, Waimate, South Canterbury and then ultimately New Zealand.”