SAM Fricker has always wanted to go to the Olympics, but he just wasn't sure what sport.
After bouncing around from trampolining to gymnastics, the Merewether product landed at diving having seen Matthew Mitcham claim gold in Beijing in 2008.
Fricker's never looked back since and this week, now aged 19, he will contest the Australian trials in Sydney for his chance to qualify for the upcoming Games in Tokyo.
"Ever since I was a kid I always dreamed about going to the Olympics," Fricker told the Newcastle Herald.
"I just never knew how I was going to get there, with what sport. I was doing trampolining and gymnastics and then moved over to diving, but when I saw Matt Mitcham win Olympic gold I was really inspired to do that myself.
"I was fortunate enough to train with him for a little while when he was still at NSWIS before he retired, which was super cool for me as a kid.
"So to make the Olympics would be an absolute dream come true. A sense of achievement for everything I've put into it. Also, proving to myself that I can do it."
Fricker, who attended both Junction Public School and Hunter School of Performing Arts, first took up diving at Lambton Pool.
He later relocated to the state capital, now based around Cronulla, and trains at Homebush under fellow Novocastrian Thomas Rickards.
In terms of Tokyo, Fricker has his sights set on one of two spots available in the men's 10 metre platform.
"The 10m platform will be my only event," he said.
"I chose to focus on it because it's my biggest opportunity, so I'm just going for that."
Preliminary rounds and semis take place on Wednesday followed by the final on Friday.
However, selection isn't purely first past the post with all 18 of Fricker's dives counting towards an accumulated score.
"Whoever has the highest combined scores will go to the Olympics so every dive matters," he said.
"So you could win the preliminary and win the semi, but bomb out in the final and still go if you're combined score is good enough. They do it that way for consistency and it makes every dive feel just as important."
Fricker's main competition will most likely be two-time Commonwealth Games medalist Domonic Bedggood and Queensland teenager Cassiel Rousseau.
He finished less than a point behind Bedggood at the 2019 Oceania Championships in New Zealand.
Fricker has participated at senior nationals on three previous occasions, most recently finishing third overall in 2019 after a career-best second in 2018. Last year's titles were called off because of coronavirus.
His hardest dive is a front four-and-a half.
Footage of a diving Fricker, who runs a wheat straw business called Sam's Straws, will be projected onto the Sydney Opera House sails on Tuesday night as part of World Ocean Day.