A passion for paddling – along with the ongoing pursuit of perfection – drove Lisa Carrington's decision to commit to another Olympic cycle, which will culminate at the Paris Games in 2024.
After months of speculation, the kayaking legend confirmed on Wednesday she would continue in the sport, via a simple social media message.
The three-time Tokyo gold medallist posted a picture to her Instagram account, along with text saying "the next adventure awaits ... Paris 2024".
Carrington became New Zealand's greatest Olympian in the Japanese capital, overcoming a gruelling schedule to take gold in the K1 200m, K1 500m and K2 500m (with Caitlin Regal), increasing her overall tally to six medals (five gold and one bronze).
It's an extraordinary haul – Carrington has been involved in 29 per cent of the 17 golds achieved by this country since 2012 – but her decision is about much more than chasing precious metal.
Instead, according to long time coach Gordon Walker, it's about her quest to be the best possible athlete, along with the pure enjoyment of every part of that process.
"It's really exciting, it's great news," Walker told Newstalk ZB. "She has a lot more to give and it is really amazing to see the passion she has for the sport and her own improvement."
Walker said while Carrington's decision has the subject of much consideration and deliberation, it wasn't just down to rational analysis.
"Sometimes the most important thing is - what is your heart telling you?" explained Walker. "When you are doing something like this it really comes down to passion and where your heart is at.
"[It's about] her desire to want to become better and she actually really enjoys that process, the preparing and getting ready for the Games. That's the main reason I see why she is continuing."
Walker wasn't surprised by her desire to continue.
"We had talked about it a bit before Tokyo," said Walker. "I felt like she wasn't ready to finish. I felt like that was the thing, not so much that she wanted to carry on, but more that it wasn't the right time just yet."
After returning from Japan, the duo had some more discussions in MIQ, while Carrington also consulted with her family and wider network.
The Ohope product has been at the top for a decade and seemed to increase her advantage in the last three years, with stunning performances at the 2019 World Championships in Hungary before the tour de force in Tokyo.
But she won't be content to rest on her laurels.
"I don't really want to go back and just do what I just did," Carrington told the Herald earlier this month. "I know that it requires more, so to really have fulfilment and to have integrity I would need to continue the path of pushing for more; the high expectation, the pressure, just knowing what it takes is a lot and being prepared to do that and figuring out how I can channel that will be something to consider.
"Am I prepared to continue to reassess what I know – and to be challenged on it more? That is how you can get better [so] it's whether or not I have enough motivation or energy to do that."
Carrington admitted it wasn't a straightforward decision but was confident about the process.
"Whatever the future brings it will be the right thing, because I have thought about it a lot," said Carrington.
Carrington has been unbeaten in the K1 200m since 2012, but won't defend that title, with the shorter event no longer part of the Olympic programme. That's a blow, but it will narrow the focus to the 500m distance, whether in the K1, K2 or K4 discipline.
"Her desire is to just improve, just become better," said Walker. "There is more that she can offer and grow as an individual and how that shapes and works within the team and the sport is the next question."
Lisa Carrington at the Olympics
2012: K1 200m gold
2016: K1 200m gold, K1 500m bronze
2021: K1 200m gold, K1 500m gold, K2 500m gold (with Caitlin Regal)