Whenever the Olympic Games rolls around every four years - or five years this time around - plenty of feel-good selection stories come to light once athletes secure their respective spots.
But for every athlete that gains that green and gold honour, there's another that has their dream shattered.
Unfortunately, that was the case for Mollymook's Kalindi Commerford in 2021, after just missing out on the final cut for the Hockeyroos.
"I don't think there's anything I could have done to prepare for that announcement and disappointment," Commerford said.
"This has not only been my hardest non-selection in hockey but also one of the most difficult aspects I've gone through in life.
"That may seem a bit dramatic to some because it's only a game and in many ways, I am fortunate to not have dealt with much worse, I haven't lost sight of that.
"But it has been a dream that I have been fostering and working towards from a very young age.
"At many times in my career, I did not think I would get remotely close to this.
"To be so close and to miss out is a very tough pill to swallow.
"I still believe I am good enough to be in the Olympic 16 which is a bit of a double-edge sword.
"For me, this could be a once in a lifetime opportunity as I'm not sure if I will continue to push to Paris 2024 Games."
This squad had been a goal the Ulladulla High School student had been working towards since making her Australian debut against New Zealand in 2016.
Then after close to 18 months on the sidelines due to COVID-19, which saw the Tokyo Games postponed, Commerford played a pivotal role in helping the green and golds down the Black Sticks in June's trans-Tasman series - which acted as the final audition for Tokyo squad selection.
"All in all, everyone was performing strongly leading up to selection," the Canberra Chill player said.
"I knew selection would have been very tight and come down to minute factors - I wasn't sure how it would play out.
"Going into it I had done the math about how many players would be taken from each position based on how we were playing and came to the realisation about two weeks prior to selection that talented players were going to miss out.
"That's the reality of sport at this level and unfortunately the chips didn't fall in my favour in this instance.
"I must admit, knowing the calibre of players you are competing against does make coming to peace with non-selection a little bit easier."
With Commerford and her teammates, including Gerringong's Grace Stewart, acknowledging the enormity of the decision, they all agreed that finding out via email was the best way for all involved.
"We were sent the email in the morning after a training session," she said.
"I had booked a 'staycay' for myself at Cottesloe Beach and my mum and two sisters flew over for the weekend to be there with me to make it a good weekend either way.
"Having them there with me was a decision I look back on and feel so grateful for.
"It was an extremely emotional weekend, and to be quite honest, there still is a lot of raw emotion for me - it's a reality that I am still processing.
"I was given feedback of my reasons for my omission from the team, I have had some time to process that and will learning from it moving forward."
The majority of that feedback came from Hockeyroos coach Katrina Powell, who Commerford holds no hard feelings against for the non-selection.
"I really respect my new coach Katrina Powell and value her opinion," the midfielder said.
"We've both always been honest with each other so comprehending the decision happened pretty quickly.
"Accepting and coming to peace with it is still something I am working on but I am proud to say that I am not bitter and do not begrudge the selectors of the playing group in any way.
"We have created such a wholesome bond and the performance at the Games is a reflection of the entire squad, not just the 16 playing.
"It's certainly a group and culture I am now so proud to be a part of."
This positive reaction is a testament to Commerford's character, as she and the other non-selected athletes still had to train with the 16-person Olympic squad until their left for Darwin on Saturday.
"It was hard to switch off and make space to not think about it," she said.
"We trained as a whole squad up until the team left for Darwin and the non-travelling members of the squad will continue to train in Perth until the first game of the Olympics because if there is an injury one of us may be called in.
"Staying present and enthusiastic has been a test in itself.
"But ultimately you sign up to be a part of a squad and a big part of that role is ensuring the group that competes is ready to go come game one."
Having been there during every stage of the preparation, Commerford is confident her Hockeyroos can win their fourth-ever Olympic Games gold medal and first since Sydney 2000.
"There are a number of factors that will give this group every chance of success," she said.
"Our Olympic campaign has been pretty controversial - similar to New Zealand and perhaps China, we have had next to no international games.
"Not being able to play against other countries may work against us but I believe it has allowed us to refine on our tactics and make changes that will take our international friends by surprise.
"The extra year to train has also increased individual skill level and fitness which has been pretty amazing to compete against.
"One thing unique to our build-up has been the independent review into our culture, change in leadership and the appeals that have run simultaneously.
"That whole experience was draining for everyone and it felt like there was always some sort of administrative question mark looming that would affect the group.
"The whole process took longer to sort out than what any of us expected.
"However, this group was able to face some ugly truths in that time and galvanise despite everything that was going on.
"It is a genuine hallmark of the mental strength and resilience of this group and I believe that is an experience that will give this group a mental edge at Tokyo."
Following what can only be described as a rollercoaster of emotions the past five years, Commerford admits she is going to take some time away from the sport to weigh up her future endeavours.
"I take a day by day approach as my emotions change every day, it's been the full gauntlet of feelings," she said.
"I will say a big learning in sport is how to find opportunities in any situation and I fully intend of making the most of this time I have in Australia.
"Short-term I will shift my focus to my legal career, working on getting admitted to the court, do a little bit of travel within Western Australia and just enjoy the little bit of freedom I now have.
"At this stage, I don't think I will retire and plan on playing Hockey One.
"I will need to perform there to be reselected in the 2022 squad.
"I also plan on spending a month in Canberra and training with ACTAS to mix my training environment up.
"I'm looking very short term at the moment and trusting that the answer will come to me.
"For now I am eating a slice of humble pie, taking on the learning, grabbing other opportunities and when the time is right I will turn up and perform as I need to."