NZ Olympic team full steam ahead for Tokyo Games

Despite the ongoing uncertainty around major global sporting events, NZ Olympic officials have stepped up their planning for next year's rescheduled Tokyo Games.

NZ Olympic Committee boss Kereyn Smith says plans revealed by Olympic officials in recent weeks have boosted hopes that the Games will go ahead next year.

On Wednesday, proof of that positivity came with the addition of two more athletes to the New Zealand team.

Sailors Daniel Willcox and Paul Snow-Hansen have become the first NZ athletes selected for the Games since the COVID-19-enforced postponement.

"I'm just fizzing," Willcox tells Newshub. "I'm really excited to make it to Tokyo and take on the challenge of the Olympics."

Smith is equally optimistic.

"Post-postponement, there were real question marks if this would happen again, but now we're seeing evidence and planning emerging from the IOC and Tokyo 2020," Smith tells Newshub.

There's still plenty of water to go under the bridge, as officials work round the clock to plan what will certainly be a different kind of Olympics.

"There'll be a lot of changes - potentially quarantine at both ends," says Smith. "The village might not open until later on." 

That uncertainty has prompted the Kiwis to remain flexible about their preparations.

"Lots of factors to be considered," Smith adds. "The heat in Tokyo, we're mindful of that, so we're thinking we might need to make plans around alternative training and quarantine-type facilities."

Wilcox and Snow-Hansen are happy to leave those issues to others, with all of their focus firmly on ensuring they're ready come Games time.

"We're loving having some time here at home and racing on NZ waters," Willcox adds. "We've got a great group of training partners, so we're loving our time here."

Watch the full story above