Double Olympic champion Eric Murray has revealed he felt he would be wasting people's time had he continued in rowing.
Murray called it quits on an illustrious career last week, ending a partnership with Hamish Bond which saw the duo go 69 races unbeaten in the coxless pair, winning gold medals at the London and Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games.
The 34-year-old told Newstalk ZB's Tony Veitch he felt he couldn't continue without being 100 per cent committed to the sport. "I would love to be out there representing New Zealand and trying to win another gold medal, but I just did not see that happening," said Murray.
"The thing with me - and high performance sport - is that if you are not 100 per cent committed to what you're doing, then I'm literally wasting taxpayers' money. That was one thing that I didn't want to do. Then I'd be wasting other people's time, and wasting my own time.
"We're getting funding from the taxpayer and we've got people in the country who can't afford to feed their kids. That's one thing that I didn't want to be looked at - that I was cashing in on actually doing nothing.
"This money can be used for our education, our police, our firemen. We're actually getting it to play a bloody sport and that's what it comes down to - don't waste the opportunity of what we're doing. You either do it at 100 per cent and do it with pride, or don't even bother."
Murray says Bond, who took the year off from rowing to take up cycling, was accepting of his decision, and there was never an assurance the pair would link again after the 2016 Rio Olympics.
"We were always of the assumption that we were going to do our own things and then come back and see whether or not the pair was on the table or whether we would leave that absent and be in other boats. There was absolutely no guarantee that we were thinking of coming back into the pair.
"A lot of the decision was around 'Should we just park this?' Because this is going to be something that nobody else has ever done. And what if you went back to do that 70th race and then you lost?
"What we've done was amazing. Maybe we could have continued on with it but we would have had to go straight back to training after the Olympics and kept going and we would have burnt out completely."
While Murray isn't ruling anything out for his future, he is comfortable with his choice to put away the oars.
"I've achieved everything I wanted to achieve and I just think the time is right to focus on some other things - family life, life outside of rowing and I'm happy that I'm going that way."