Olympic Games: NZOC ensuring necessary support in place for returning athletes post-Tokyo

The NZ Olympic Committee is ensuring the necessary support is in place to help athletes who have returned home from the Tokyo Games.

Competitors have previously spoken of the struggles they face after the Olympics - regardless of their level of experience or their results.

Track cyclist Sam Dakin had dreamed of the Olympics for 15 years, but his Tokyo experience failed to meet those expectations.

"It definitely wasn't what five-year-old Sam Dakin had dreamt about," Dakin tells Newshub.

The first-time Olympian finished seventh as part of the men's cycling team sprint and while he's grateful he went, Dakin has been left feeling flat about the overall Games experience - mainly due to the tight COVID-19 restrictions and geographical challenges.

"I had dreamt of you finish your competition, you go to these other sports, you watch the men's 100 metres or the women's 4x100, all of this stuff we didn't get to do."

The 25-year-old's one of several athletes who is now feeling the post-Games blues.

Former Olympic boxer Alexis Pritchard now works in this area with the NZ Olympic Committee.

"It's the recognition that this period is normal, and some of us can really struggle, others thrive, and there's everything in between," Pritchard tells Newshub.

Athletes receive various types of support and are encouraged to not worry about expectations, but focus on themselves. Dakin is already carrying that out.

"Something like PlayStation is enough to drag me into a world away from what I'm worrying about. 

"It might be going for a run or a ride. I've got a toolbox, luckily enough."

Despite Dakin's Tokyo experience, he's still eyeing up Paris 2024.

"We need to ensure that experience is in our control and we can make it a memorable one."

Five-year-old Sam Dakin might find that a bit more enjoyable.