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A year ago, Australian rower Molly Goodman was stuck training indoors and wondering what would happen next as COVID-19 put the Olympics on hold.
On Saturday, she was in a large contingent of 147 Australian Olympians bound for Tokyo.
Competitors from swimming, hockey, women's wateropolo, men's beach volleyball, badminton, weightlifting and table tennis were also on the flight from Cairns.
Australia will have a team of 488 athletes in Tokyo, its largest for a foreign Games.
Goodman, who will compete at her second Olympics in the women's eight, said on the Cairns tarmac that the Games finally were feeling real.
"We've been together as a team for the last couple of weeks, but now we're with all the other sports," Goodman said.
"We're all in uniform and it's pretty real and exciting now.
"It's crazy to think how far we've come and what we've been through in the last year - this time last year, we were all at home, training on the 'ergos' indoors. It's been a quite the journey."