Tokyo Olympics: Family cheering from afar, as swimmer Lewis Clareburt tries to snap Kiwi drought in pool

For the last four years, Wellington's Clareburt family have gathered once a week for dinner at their family home. 

Lewis Clareburt is off to the Tokyo Olympics to try and break New Zealand's 25-year hoodoo in the pool, and while his family can't be there to cheer him on, he will have an army behind him back in New Zealand. 

This has been the scene in the Clareburt household every week for the last four years.

"Anyone want some more rice?" says dad David Clareburt.

But this family dinner has a different feel to it - swimmer Lewis Clareburt is leaving for the Tokyo Olympics, cherishing time with his parents and sisters. 

"Food is one of the main forces that brings the family together," he says.

The three siblings have always been close - but they've had their moments.

"I feel like we've had our ups and downs," says Lewis.

"Oh, have we?" says Ali.

Now, a few years wiser, with Lewis on the verge of an Olympics debut, Ali and Amelia couldn't be happier for their little brother. 

"It's just epic, seeing how far he's gone and how proud of him that we are," says Ali. 

"It's pretty cool to see," says Amelia. 

His family's been there every step of the way and while they won't be in Tokyo, they will certainly be supporting from afar.

"It's obviously difficult knowing we can’t be there in person," says Ali. 

David Clareburt says: "It's a shame we can't go. I would love to have gone, but it'll be neat to watch as a family." 

And as a nation, as Clareburt attempts to break a 25-year medal-less drought in the pool, dating back to Danyon Loader at Atlanta 1996. 

The 21-year-old heads to Japan as a real medal prospect, after clocking the world's second-fastest 400m individual medley time this year at the national championships.

A place on the podium would provide a reason to celebrate at the next Clareburt family dinner.