Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce says reaching the start line for Saturday's women's 100 metre final was her gold medal.
The Jamaican sprint legend was the champion in the 100m at Beijing in 2008 and four years ago in London.
However, her reign as the queen of the event was ended by compatriot Elaine Thompson, who comfortably outpaced her rivals in a time of 10.71 seconds.
Fraser-Pryce had to settle for bronze, but the 29-year-old was relieved just to make the final having struggled with form and a persistent toe injury earlier this year.
"I think I'm really happy about last night, considering everything that could have gone wrong and what could have gone right, it went right for me," Fraser-Pryce, speaking courtesy of Nike, told Omnisport.
"Sometimes we don't get to choose what happens and we have to make the most of what we have and last night my greatest accomplishment was just standing at the line and having the chance to defend my title.
"Considering how the season went and everything I was going through I was just excited to be there. My gold medal was being at the line."
For Thompson, the focus now switches to the 200m where her main rival is expected to be Dutchwoman Dafne Schippers, and the 4x100m relay.
Asked about the showdown with Schippers, she said: "I just need to focus on me, because everyone out there is out to do their best.
"I'm just looking to do the best as well, I'm looking to the challenge I'll just take it from there."
On becoming 100m champion, Thompson added: "I went out there confident, I was smiling to get the nerves away.
"When I reached 60 metres and I realised I was clear I just started celebrating with about 15 metres to go until I reached the line. I was excited, I'm at my first Olympics and I'm just having fun."