Jaime Ryan doesn't know if she'll get a chance to wear her formal Olympic uniform in Tokyo.
She experienced the high of an opening ceremony on debut in Rio five years ago, but realises the upcoming Games will look vastly different amid a global pandemic.
Coronavirus changes and protocols aside, the 27-year-old sailor remains grateful she still has the opportunity to compete at the international sporting event and proudly donned her Australian gear at Coal Point this week before taking off for Japan.
"I think it's going to be a very different Games experience," Ryan told the Newcastle Herald.
"In a lot of ways, even these days getting ready to go over, it feels a lot more like going to another regatta because sailing will be the majority of what we do.
"In saying that, that's what the Olympics was last time as well. We went for the sailing, went to race and went to perform.
"I guess the basis of it doesn't change, even though a lot of things around it do.
"Any of the athletes will tell you, we're really grateful we get to go at all.
"Seeing the state of the world and the state of Japan, which has gone through some pretty extreme difficulties to be able put this event on for us.
"And we still get that incredible team experience.
"As part of the Australian Olympic team and the Australian sailing team, rallying around each other and finding other ways to make it special."
Ryan was the last of the Hunter's Olympic contingent, which totals 19 athletes across 14 different sports, to leave the region on Thursday.
Many others are based elsewhere nowadays or have been interstate for training camps or remain overseas after recently qualifying for Tokyo.
Ryan's older brother Will, who secured a silver medal at the last Olympics, also had a quick visit home and was given a green and gold send off from family and friends last weekend.
She embraced the chance to be in familiar surrounds at Lake Macquarie ahead of the Games, which start next week.
"It's so nice to have a couple of days at home," she said.
"Just to chill out, spend a bit of time with the family and get a bit grounded as well. It's been such a rollercoaster over the last 12 months let alone the whole selection process before that."
Twelve preliminary races take place from July 27 to 31. The final is on August 2.
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