Yulia Efimova felt her 200 metre breaststroke silver at Rio 2016 was just reward following a difficult period which saw the Russian embroiled in a doping row.
Efimova was given a provisional ban after testing positive for meldonium earlier this year, but swimming's governing body FINA overturned the decision on advice from the World Anti-Doping Agency.
She was subsequently jeered during her appearances at the Rio Games, and Lilly King was outspoken in her criticism of Efimova after beating the Russian to 100m breaststroke gold on Monday.
It was a second silver for Efimova on Thursday as Japan's Rie Kaneto topped the podium, and the Russian revealed it had been a challenging time for her.
"There are a lot of emotions. I was standing on the podium and of course I wanted the gold like any ordinary athlete, especially at the Olympics," she said.
"I was so close. But I was very happy about today's medal, like the previous medal, because looking back at this time and what was happening to me, it's a big accomplishment and I'm happy with myself in this situation.
"I tried to do all that I could, but I missed out by just a little bit. But with my trainings, with everything that has happened to me, it is a good result.
"I'm not made of iron. That's not the case at all. I'm very emotional. Even now as I stand I'm trying to hold back tears every time and I try to be more reserved. What I understood is that I'm capable of a lot, of so much really, but of course without support I would not be able to do this.
"There was huge, unbelievable support from Russia mostly and from other countries as well. My social networks are just exploding. Everybody is supporting me so much.
"I got a lot of messages saying that I should not cry under any circumstances and only smile because I have a nice smile, so I tried to do that."