Florent Manaudou draped himself in the French tricolor and flashed a megawatt smile after winning his second straight Olympic silver in the 50m freestyle in Tokyo.
He missed out on gold at Rio 2016 by 0.01secs, four years after his historic triumph in London when he and 2004 champion Laure Manaudou became the first swimming siblings to claim Olympic titles.
He stepped back from swimming and played professional handball but returned to the pool and that welcome silver.
He said: “A much better one because I just stopped swimming for two-and-a-half years. I went to enjoy my life and I realized that sport is good for crazy moments like this.”
When girlfriend Pernille Blume won bronze in the 50m freestyle to add to her Rio gold, he dashed on to poolside to embrace the Dane, reminiscent of Laure nine years earlier in London.
The pair announced their engagement in September and the same month he also revealed he was switching training bases from Marseille to CN Antibes.
Four Olympic medals, four world titles, six European golds and a 50m backstroke short-course world record of 22.22 set in 2014 that still stands today.
So what of his plans for Paris 2024, a home Games? Will he be there?
“I hope so,” he said. “I would love to finish in Paris, just race, take some good moments and enjoy the Games as well.”