Sir Steve Redgrave has admitted he was "a little disappointed" that he was not picked to light the flame at the Olympics opening ceremony.
The Olympic rowing legend - who was the favourite to light the cauldron on Friday night - said his competitor's ego meant he would have loved to have lit the flame.
He said organisers had got it right with the decision for seven young athletes to light the cauldron, but told the Sunday Telegraph it was other people's expectations he found difficult.
And he also admitted he would have struggled if the honour had gone to an athlete from his own generation.
During the epic ceremony, Sir Steve ran into the stadium holding the torch, passing it over to the seven youngsters nominated by himself and other British Olympic heroes.
Writing in the Sunday Telegraph, he said being the last Olympian to carry the torch was a great honour.
But he said: "Of course looking back I must admit that when I was told it would not be me lighting the flame at the Opening Ceremony, I was a little disappointed.
"It was not a question of arrogance. It was about the expectation of everybody I knew, who kept saying that it had to be me when I knew deep down that it was not going to happen."
He had been called around two-and-a-half weeks before and given a rough idea of what would happen, he said.
"As an extremely competitive individual with an ego, there is a part of me that would love to have lit the flame."