Tonga's Pita Taufatofua has claimed he never gave up on his dream of qualifying for the Olympics, even after injury ended his hopes for Beijing 2008 and London 2012.
The 32-year-old won the gold medal in the over 80 kilogram class at the Oceania qualifying tournament for Rio 2016 in Papua New Guinea in February.
It means he will be the first athlete from Tonga to take part in the taekwondo competition at the Olympics.
"The dream started 20 years ago and my third attempt - it's been this accumulation of just a lot of work and just reaching it finally has been actually a big relief," Taufatofua said Radio New Zealand.
"A lot of weight has been taken off my shoulders and finally just realising the dream I've never experienced this sort of joy before - it's crazy, it's nuts!
"I had no doubt that I'd get there,
"I just didn't know when.
"I believe that I was meant to not get there the first few times.
"I was meant to go through the struggle.
"I was meant to feel the pain."
Taufatofua reflected back on his previous failures.
"My first shot at the Olympics I left New Caledonia in a wheelchair - that was 2008," he said.
"In 2012 I left New Caledonia again on crutches - I had a torn PCL (posterior cruciate ligament) - so I feel I was meant to go through that struggle to really appreciate it this time.
"I had no doubt it would happen, I just didn't know when.
"It's just really hard to stress how long it's taken and how much work it's taken.
"Not just for me - I'm just the tip of the iceberg.
"What everyone doesn't see is the majority of the mass underneath me which is blood, sweat and tears from everybody: friends, family, the Tongan community, Master, the other athletes that made it and the other athletes that didn't make it from here.
"The other countries they send athletes - they inspire me - and the New Zealand athlete that I beat he's a friend of mine.
"It took a long time for us to get here but we did."