Sir Chris Hoy said he has no regrets about his retirement as athletes finalise their preparations for the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Britain's most successful Olympian will be involved in Glasgow 2014 in an ambassadorial role and will serve as a "chieftain" of the athletes' village, welcoming teams and leading tours of the site.
He opened the £17 million renovated international arrivals area at Glasgow Airport today as athletes from across the Commonwealth touch down ahead of the Games, which start next week.
The 38-year-old posed for pictures with volunteers, staff and members of the Kenyan team at the airport, as the atmosphere builds towards the opening ceremony.
One of the main Games venues - the velodrome - is named after the champion cyclist and, despite the anticipation among athletes and organisers, Sir Chris said there is no way he could have competed at Glasgow 2014.
"There's no regrets because it wasn't much of a choice, it literally had to happen," he said.
"In a sport as physically demanding as cycling it's not as though skill or tactical experience can bluff its way to the top. You're the engine of the bike and if you're not physically able to keep it going then you're not going to win.
"I knew I'd come to the end of competing at the very highest level but I can't complain in terms of the longevity of my career. I managed to get three Commonwealth Games and four Olympic Games, but it had to come to an end at some point."
He said he is instead looking forward to seeing the other side of competition and cheering on the Scottish athletes.
"It's nice to be involved still behind the scenes and enjoying the atmosphere.
"I'm not quite sure what being a chieftain involves but you get to wear a kilt and wander around welcoming people, so it'll be fun."
Thousands of athletes and visitors will arrive at Glasgow Airport this week and be transferred to their accommodation.
The airport's managing director, Amanda McMillan, said: "This will be the first impression for many people of Glasgow and of Scotland. We've spent over £17 million, particularly on international arrivals to double the space and create an exterior, but we've also spent money refreshing most of the rest of the airport.
"When athletes touch down they will go through baggage and passport control like everyone else, but once they get to the arrival area they will be looked after by members of the Glasgow 2014 team and they'll essentially hold their hand all the way to the athletes' village.
"This is always a busy time for the airport but we now have this extra layer on top of the Games family and delegates bringing extra colour and interest to the airport."