(Reuters) - British sailor Ben Ainslie on Wednesday moved to temper reports the four-time gold medallist will chase more Olympic glory in 2016 when the Games are held in Rio De Janeiro.
The 35-year-old became the first sailor to win medals at five successive Games earlier this month when he was victorious in the Finn class at the London regatta off Weymouth.
It was Ainslie's third successive Olympic gold in the Finn, following silver and gold in the smaller Laser class at Atlanta in 1996 and Sydney 2000 respectively.
It seemed a fitting end to a glittering Olympic career as Ainslie said afterwards it was unlikely he would be in Rio.
Reports surfaced in the British media on Tuesday quoting Ainslie as saying that "the Olympics have been a huge part of my life and I'd like to be involved in the next Games".
But with his mind and body now in San Francisco preparing for the upcoming America's Cup World Series, Ainslie sought to clear up any confusion regarding his possible participation in four years' time.
"Of course, I'd love to be in Rio but there are so many challenges and factors that need to fall into place before I can make that decision," Ainslie wrote in a blog posted on the America's Cup website (www.americascup.com) on Tuesday.
"So at this stage nothing has changed. I'm not ruling anything in or anything out."
If Ainslie does decide to go again in four years, he faces a number of difficult decisions, notwithstanding whether his body can continue to handle the physical nature of the Finn class.
"I don't think I can sail one of these again," Ainslie said after winning his fourth gold.
"It's killing my body."
Ainslie will definitely need a new boat for Rio, though, whatever the class. His faithful Finn dinghy, which he won all three gold medals in, was retired after London and now resides in a Cornwall museum.
(Writing by Tom Bartlett, editing by Mark Meadows)