Three of central Victoria's premier athletes - Jenna Strauch, Matthew Dellavedova and Tessa Lavey - are in Tokyo chasing their dream - an Olympic gold medal.
Your guide to the Olympic hopes of our central Victorian athletes in Tokyo.
Bendigo punches above its weight when it comes to producing sports stars.
Our list of footballers who've gone on to play in the VFL/AFL stands up against any regional city in the nation.
We've had elite basketballers, netballers, cyclists, cricketers, lawn bowlers, walkers, divers, rowers, badminton players and even a champion sailor.
Not since 1956 Olympic gold medalist Faith Leech have we had a swimmer of the talents of Jenna Strauch.
From early morning laps as a youngster at Bendigo East Swimming Club to the big stage of the Olympics in Tokyo, Strauch's achievement just to qualify for the Australian swimming team shouldn't be underestimated.
The years of hard work, overcoming illness, moving away from her family and then forcing her way into the Australian Olympic team via one of the toughest qualification criteria in Aussie sport means Strauch is a winner no matter what happens in Tokyo.
"It is a lifelong journey, picking an individual Olympic sport," Strauch told bond.edu.au
"It is pretty cut-throat, a one-off opportunity and the stars all have to align.
"It comes down to belief, you need a good support network and back what you are doing."
She will swim in the heats of the 200m breaststroke on Wednesday, July 28, between 8.50pm-9.10pm (AEST).
The best 16 times in the heats qualify for the semi-finals, which will be held on Thursday, July 29.
The top eight from the semi-finals advance to the final on Friday, July 30.
At the Australian Olympic trials in June, Strauch swam a personal best time of 2:23.18.
It's the 13th fastest time in the world this year.
Strauch's time would have just missed the final of the event at the 2016 Rio Olympics, but it would have comfortably made the final of the 2019 world championships.
Canada's Sydney Pickrem swam 2:22.90 - just 0.28 of a second better than Strauch's time - to win bronze at the 2019 world titles.
Strauch will have to swim another personal best to qualify for the final.
The way she's dug deep and overcame adversity in recent years just to get to Tokyo, you'd be brave to bet against her.
Wednesday, July 28 - 200m breaststroke heats, 8.50pm-9.10pm
Thursday, July 29 - 200m breaststroke semi-finals, 12.50pm-1pm
Friday, July 30 - 200m breaststroke final, 11.40am
If you don't understand what playing for Australia means to Matthew Dellavedova, watch the replay of the bronze medal game at the 2016 Olympics.
The Boomers led by one point with five seconds to play before a dubious foul call at best gifted opponent Spain with two free throws.
Both free throws were made, the Boomers couldn't get a final shot away and Australia's first Olympic men's basketball medal slipped away - again.
The pain etched on Dellavedova's face after the game said it all.
The Maryborough native has an NBA championship to his name and is financially set for life.
The NBA title with Cleveland in 2016 was an outstanding achievement, but for Dellavedova there's something else that has always driven him.
The only thing missing in his outstanding basketball career is the one thing he's dreamed of achieving since he was a youngster - an Olympic medal.
Read more: Delly talks Boomers, babies and World Cup
Now at the age of 30, Dellavedova enters his third Olympics with a Boomers team well-placed to challenge for that elusive medal.
As well as the Boomers played in pre-Olympic exhibition matches against USA, Nigeria and Argentina, they will have to be at their best just to get out of the group stage.
The format for basketball is different in Tokyo.
Three pools of four teams, with the top two in each pool qualifying for the quarter-finals and the two best third placegetters also advancing.
Less pool games means little margin for error.
The Boomers need to top pool B - against Nigeria, Italy and Germany - to give themselves the best chance of avoiding the USA in the quarter-finals.
Read more: Delly inspires Bendigo Braves juniors
Nigeria, Italy and Germany all have multiple NBA players and it won't be easy to win all three games.
The good news for us is that all three Boomers' pool matches are scheduled for 6.20pm AEST, starting on Sunday night against Nigeria.
"Delly" has given central Victorian basketball fans so much to cheer about over the past decade.
Saturday, August 7, might well be his crowning moment if he's standing on the dias with an Olympic gold medal around his neck.
Sunday, July 25 - v Nigeria at 6.20pm
Wednesday, July 28 - v Italy at 6.20pm
Saturday, July 31 - v Germany at 6.20pm
Tuesday, August 3 - quarter-finals
Thursday, August 5 - semi-finals
Saturday, August 7 - medal games
The Tokyo Olympics is an opportunity for redemption for Tessa Lavey and her team-mates that represented their country in Rio in 2016.
The Bendigo Spirit star, now 28, was one of the youngest members of the Opals' squad in 2016.
The team was seen as the biggest challenger to gold medal favourite the USA and raced through the preliminary round matches with a 5-0 record.
However, they suffered a shock 73-71 loss to Serbia in the quarter-finals and were knocked out of the tournament.
They became the first Australian women's basketball team to not collect a medal at the Olympics since 1992.
Despite the pre-Olympic controversy surrounding the departure of star centre Liz Cambage, the Opals should challenge for the medal rounds again.
An Olympic medal in Tokyo would complete the set for point guard Lavey.
She won a Commonwealth Games gold medal with the Opals in 2018 on the Gold Coast and has a World Cup silver medal and bronze medal from two appearances for her country.
An Olympic medal would cap a whirlwind nine months for Lavey after she made her AFLW debut for Richmond over summer.
Tess Madgen played for the Spirit between 2010-12 and is on the Bendigo Braves' NBL1 roster this year.
Opals' starting point guard Leilani Mitchell has signed to play with the Bendigo Spirit for the 2021-22 WNBL season.
Madgen is making her Olympics debut, while Mitchell represented Australia in 2016.
The Opals should win all three of their Group C pool matches against Belgium, China and Puerto Rico.
Hot favourite the USA heads Group B, while Group A is tough, with Canada, Spain and Serbia all capable of winning the pool.
Tuesday, July 27 - v Belgium at 6.20pm
Friday, July 30 - v China at 10pm
Monday, August 2 - v Puerto Rico at 10pm
Wednesday, August 4 - quarter-finals
Friday, August 6 - semi-finals
Saturday, August 7 - bronze medal game
Sunday, August 8 - gold medal game
Read more: Catch up on the latest Tokyo Olympics news
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