Tokyo Olympics: Kiwi trampolinist Dylan Schmidt gunning for the gold after his Olympic dreams began 12 years ago

For trampolinist Dylan Schmidt, five years of training is about to come down to just a few bounces. 

Schmidt knows how to win gold. He's done it before at the Youth Olympic Games in 2014 - and he's planning on doing it again. 

"Success for me would obviously be getting on that podium. I mean, I wanna win", Dylan Schmidt told Newshub. 

In 2016, he entered the history books as New Zealand's first Olympic trampolinist. Now, he's hoping to enter the history books for a second time from the podium. 

It's a dream he's been focused on for more than a decade since he claimed the junior world title 12 years ago. 

"It really sank in when I got home, that this is what I want to do, I wanted to go to the Olympics. Being 12 years old and making that decision is a bit weird to look back on."

Dylan Schmidt winning the Under 13 World Championship in Russia in 2009.
Dylan Schmidt winning the Under 13 World Championship in Russia in 2009. Photo credit: Supplied

Now, his eyes are firmly focused on the future, perfecting the two routines he will perform for the judges in Tokyo. 

"It's not just throwing tricks on the tramp, it's a lot more technical and control-based," Dylan laughs.

But in these strange times, perfecting the routine is only half the battle. Getting to Japan safely and staying healthy are equally as important. 

"We're ready for adversity, we're ready for anything. We're training hard and once we get there all the hard work is done. We're just trying to get through the whole COVID-19 situation and then get on the trampoline and do my thing really."

Schmidt will have a familiar face back in his corner in Tokyo. The 12-month delay to the Olympics gave him the time to change coaches. 

Dylan is back working with Angie Dougall, who was also his coach when his Olympic dreams began all those years ago. 

Dylan Schmidt and Angie Dougall in 2009.
Dylan Schmidt and Angie Dougall in 2009. Photo credit: Supplied

"We've just really sat down and worked hard on creating my vision for how I wanted my training, my campaign and my trampoline life to go," Dylan says. 

Angie says Dylan "absolutely" has what it takes to win gold. 

"It's quite exciting to see how the plan is coming exactly to fruition," she says.

Together, the pair have been working on the finishing touches, getting the right feel, and making sure Dylan is comfortable. 

Having grown up in Te Anau and Waihi, that classic Kiwi humility is something that comes naturally - but he is working on owning his truth. 

"You don't have to be shy, you don't have to be afraid of telling people what you want to achieve and what you think you're capable of achieving because if you can't say it, do you really believe it yourself?" 

So when asked if he is there for gold, the answer was clear. 

"I'm there for it, there for gold." 

The qualification rounds for the men's trampoline begin at 4pm on Saturday with the final beginning at 5:50pm.