Adam Peaty revealed he has gone through "breakdowns" and has had to hide emotions from his family after becoming a double Olympic champion.
It was another dominant performance from world-record holder Peaty in the 100 metres breaststroke at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre, with a time of 57.37 – the fifth fastest in history – enough for him to make history as the first British swimmer to defend an Olympics title.
Peaty is unbeaten in the event in seven years and only one other swimmer has ever breached the 58-second mark – that being silver medallist Arno Kamminga.
Despite his dominance, Peaty spoke about the challenges he has faced, with the 26-year-old having become a father to his son George within the past year.
He said: "It's been a heavy investment. A lot has changed this last year, more than the last five. Becoming a father, buying my first house and some days when I woke up and was like 'this is hard, this is really hard'.
"There's been so many challenges, so many challenges and f*****g some breakdowns as well.
"It's like 'what am I doing every single day? Why am I training three times a day, giving it everything for this swim?'.
"I've hidden a lot of emotion from my own family, I've hidden a lot of stress and a lot of those moments where I was like 'this is very, very hard'.
"The 99.9 per cent of time that we spend in the dark is for the 0.01 per cent we spend in light."
Having made history, Peaty was asked how much longer he foresees himself staying in the pool, with the Paris Games three years away.
"I think of sport very simply, as soon as I stop having fun I'll stop, I'm still having fun, I have a lot of fun with my boy, I have a lot of fun at home and having a normal life too," he added.
"It's such a big decision, it's a family decision now, not just me being a selfish athlete because we have to be selfish but we'll have that conversation when we're home.
"Obviously, we're targeting Paris anyway, anything after that is a bonus really. It's about how young you keep your mind, sport is getting faster, the world is getting faster, you have to take that in to consideration too.
"It depends what else is out there, if I can inspire people in other ways I'll probably do that. But I live in the present."