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Cook Islands doctor following in family footsteps with Olympic canoe slalom spot

Jane Nicholas might not be a name you recognise, but the 27-year-old will become the latest in her family to represent the Cook Islands in canoe slalom.

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Jane Nicholas will follow in her family's footsteps when she competes at this year’s canoe slalom. Source: 1 NEWS

Following in the footsteps of her older brother and sister, who took part in the Rio Olympics four years ago, Nicholas will make her debut in Tokyo later this year.

The paddler just wanting to make her family proud.

"They're very supportive of me and have been my kind of career long training buddies," she told 1 NEWS.

"So it's pretty exciting to be able to get there myself this year."

That admiration going both ways, sister Ella says.

"I'm sure she'll do great. I watched her race in Managhau last year and in Spain, and both of them were beautiful."

Making the Kiwi born trio even more remarkable, away from the waters the three siblings all work as doctors.

Motivated by their parents, they're also out to inspire the next generation, Ella even setting up a scholarship to help support New Zealand and Pacific slalom athletes.

"I had so much support over the years, I wanted to give back in some way," Ella says.

They know what it means to be among just a handful of athletes to compete for the Cook Islands on sport's biggest stage.

"To have the country behind you, that's so small is actually really special. 

"I feel very proud to represent them."