Although Owen Wright has been competing on the World Surf League tour for more than a decade, he knows the Olympic Games will be unlike anything he's done before.
To ensure he's ready to make the most of his maiden appearance in Tokyo, the Culburra Beach product has been training with former UFC champion Luke Rockhold, who he first met six years ago, while based in Los Angeles.
"As I was already coming over to the United States for the Surf Ranch Pro, I thought it was a perfect chance to train with someone who is at the top of their game," Wright said.
"Aussies are typically known for their fighting spirit and I've been trying to understand that commitment to his craft the Luke possess, as well as what he puts his body through just to get in the octagon.
"It's a different environment than I'm used to but it's helped me not miss my family as much because I know I'm here for one goal.
"I've learnt a lot from him in a short amount of time, especially in terms of how to get into that headspace and getting myself up to the necessary standard mentally - the way those fighters prepare for battle is unlike anything I've experienced firsthand before.
"I've been trying to feed off that as much as I can, as well as his desire to win - it's been extremely intense training because, at the end of the day, the Olympics is one shot that only comes around every four years and for surfing, this is unchartered territory, so I've fully focused to give it my all.
"Us Aussies have got a battle in front of them and I know all four of us will rise to any challenge that presents itself in Tokyo."
When in the Japanese capital, the Culburra Beach Boardrider and his team are expecting small and tricky conditions at Tsurigasaki Beach - at surfing's first-ever appearance at the Olympic Games.
"I've been checking the surf forecast for Ichinomiya quite regularly via a Surfline camera and at the moment, the next week or so is saying only one-to-two-foot waves," he said.
"Last week, there was a couple of two-to-three foot days but that only appeared waste-height at best.
"I believe we are going to be in for some small conditions at the Games, which puts more onus on your preparation to come in fit and agile - thankfully, I've surfed numerous small waves over the years.
"Although it's not what we're used to on the world tour, in Australia we get a solid mix of all waves, which should assist us at the Games."
Another uncontrollable condition Wright and his team, which also features Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons, will have to deal with in the COVID-19 pandemic - which has recently forced the International Olympic Committee to ban fans from attending the Games.
"Our team had a solid run at what the COVID competition environment will be like at the ISA World Surf Games in El Salvador - doing all the necessary protocols set out to us," the 31-year-old said.
"Although there were some cases there, as there were athletes from all over the world, I was still able to compete in more than 10 heats and deal with all those extra aspects just fine - although there was some anxiety at the start.
"It was a really beneficial test run and we all left there feeling really safe, which puts us in good stead going into Japan."
Furthermore to that, the Australian surf team, which also contains Stephanie Gilmore and Julian Wilson, won't be based in the actual Olympic village - rather their own little hub close to two hours northeast of Tokyo on the Chiba Prefecture's Pacific coastline.
Despite that, Wright and his Irukandjis team are still hopeful they'll be involved in all the Olympic festivities, including the opening ceremony.
"Ever since I've qualified, I've been really keen to go to the opening ceremony, so I hope that's something we get a chance to do," said Wright, whose confident his team claim both gold medals on offer.
"Obviously it would be great to compete in front of some crowds but that's out of our control and the IOC has to do what's best for all those involved in the Games.
"Unfortunately, my family, who were hanging to come watch, won't be able to be there and experience it with me.
"Thankfully, with technology being so advanced, I've been able to stay very connected with my family despite being away for so long - I was able to witness my daughter crawling for the first time and attempting to say dad.
"Even if there are some differences to past Games, I feel extremely proud to be representing my country, as this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for me."
Speaking of family, unlike the world tour, where he is joined by younger siblings Tyler and Mikey, Owen will be the only Wright member competing at Tokyo - a challenge he is embracing.
"My sister has two world titles and all the accolades that come with that, so qualifying for the Olympics feels like my little thing at the moment," he said.
"But I know it won't be long before we see Tyler as an Olympic Games because I know she will be gunning for the next one, that's for sure."
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