Hannah Macleod has admitted hockey "needed" one of the Great Britain teams to win a medal at London 2012.
Macleod was a member of the women's squad that beat New Zealand to secure a bronze, with the men losing to the Netherlands in their third-place match.
"The cold truth of the situation was we had to win a medal.
"The sport needed us to win a medal because if you don't win medals, you're soon forgotten about," the 28-year-old told BBC Radio Cambridgeshire.
There was an explosion of interest in hockey when Britain's men won the gold medal at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
And the signs are that the success of the women's team has also prompted more children to take up the game.
"This just keeps us in the public eye for a little bit longer and we're working very hard now to get out and about to promote our sport.
"Pre-season has just started with the clubs and we've already had messages that so many more youngsters are joining clubs and taking part, which is really what we want to see," said Macleod.
"If we had come fourth, fifth, sixth, we would probably all have left the country and gone on holiday but everybody just wants to stick around and get involved with as much as possible."
Great Britain skipper Kate Walsh is thinking over her future in international hockey but Macleod believes the majority of the team will want to carry on until the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro because of "unfinished business".
She added: "Rio has got a lot to live up to but I'm sure most of us will want to beat bronze.
"We were very close in our semi-final, to lose 2-1. There's a massive incentive there - we're close to gold."