Hard work is paying off for a 22-year-old local boy who is now on a dream journey hoping to make it to the 2016 Olympics in Rio.

Click here to watch Ann Sterling's report. 

Kalei Kahookele knows kayaking takes strength, power, speed, endurance, and balance. He’s been doing it since he was 8 years old.

Kahookele was on his high school kayaking team at Mid Pac where he was named “Kayaker of the Year” – not once but twice!

Since then, he's won more than 100 medals, including 3 golds at this year’s USA Kayak Sprint National Championship.

Nowadays, you can find Kahookele out on the water six days a week. He has his sights set on the Olympics, and he has someone to thank for his determination.

“My mom. She passed away from cancer when I was 14 years old. She always told me to never give up on what I believe in, and the Olympics is what I believe in, and she told me to go for it and she definitely motives me to this day,” said Kahookele.

Kahookele is training with Olympic kayaker Shelley Oates-Wilding.

Curious to know what he eats? A lot of protein, lettuce, and clean food. He takes in about 4- to 5,000 calories a day!

The Olympic Trials are this April. Kahookele and his family are trying to raise money to help him get there.