New Zealand rowers Hamish Bond and Eric Murray were driven by the fear of failure on the road to Olympic gold in the men's pair on Friday.
The Kiwis, undefeated since failing to make the final in the men's fours at the Beijing Olympics, lived up to their star billing with a storming charge down the 2000m stretch of water at Eton Dorney.
After leaving silver medallists France and Great Britain trailing in their wake Bond disclosed: "Just being able to deliver on the day, that was our biggest fear of the whole (Olympic) campaign, not achieving what we were capable of."
Murray, reflecting on the weight of expectation on their shoulders, said: "There was overwhelming pressure, with all the New Zealand papers saying we were going to win.
"We knew how fast we could go, we wanted to go as fast as we possibly could. When we crossed the line I said to myself 'you bloody beauty'."
Bond disclosed how they had drawn on the disappointment of Beijing.
"That was four years ago, we used Beijing to a degree, but we're a different crew now to then. To go unbeaten in a four-year cycle is completely beyond our expectations. No one can take that away from us."
Turning to the differences between them and their country's most famous export - the rugby world champion All Blacks - he said: "The All Blacks are the pinnacle of sport in New Zealand, but unlike them we're not on display all the time, we're tucked away in a bubble."
Murray, when quizzed on his Bradley Wiggins-style sideburns, blamed his wife.
"It's all down to her, she doesn't like me clean shaven.
"And I read a book once, it talked about how facial hair can make a difference, make you more intimidating than without."
Murray, weighing his gold medal in his hand, smiled: "Four hundred and fifty grammes of grit, attitude, determination and belief we could do it."
New Zealand were also on the mark with Mahe Drysdale in the men's single sculls.
"It has taken me three Olympics to get it but it is the realisation of a dream," said Drysdale.
"You can do it if you work your butt off. You only get one or two opportunities in life to be in a position to win a gold medal but hopefully I made the best of those opportunities."
Drysdale disclosed he had suffered from some anxious pre-race tension.
"I have never had nerves like this before. Two hours before the race I threw up. It was one of the worst mornings in my life. When I got on the starting block I started to enjoy myself.
"It was a dream 12 years ago to be an Olympic champion. It has been a tough road."