Swimming for the Gold

(KHNL) - Its approximately 5,080-miles from Honolulu to Beijing.

But for Punahou alum, Noa Sakamoto, 10 kilometers is all that stands between him and olympic gold.

"For 2008 in Beijing it'll be the first year they'll have the open water 10k as an olympic event," he said, "So first time out there, we'll see."

Since he was 8-years old, Sakamoto has been taken by the water, and for the past four years has moved from the comforts of the pool, to open water swimming events.

"Open water swimming there's no land lines, you're a lot closer to your competitor, there's some bumping and some pushing," he said, "You'll get elbows in your chest and in your face and its just part of the sport."

But come October, Noa will have a chance to elbow out the competition, as he and training partner John Flanagan will represent Hawaii at the U.S. Olympic Trials in Fort Myers, Florida, one step closer to Beijing.

"I've never had those thoughts about walking into the olympic games," Noa said, "I'm just excited to make it to the national level and compete there, and if i get one of the top two places and move onto the olympic games then that's great. But anytime you can get out there and compete on the national level is great."