Australia’s triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice announced her retirement from competitive swimming at the age of 25 on Wednesday. Rice had a stunning Olympic debut at Beijing’s Water Cube in 2008, winning the 200 and 400 metres individual medley titles as well as gold in the 4x200m freestyle relay, all in world record times.
She struggled with a shoulder injury heading into the 2012 London Olympics, where her failure to win a medal contributed to a disappointing Games for Australia. She has not raced competitively since and on Wednesday announced on her website (stephanierice.com.au/) that she would not be returning to the pool.
“I knew that I really had to take the time for myself to get to the point where I knew 100 percent what I wanted to do,” Rice said in a video posted on the website. “And I never wanted to make a comeback, so the decision that I wanted to make was definitely final and coming to that point today and not continuing my swimming career is, it’s sad. Like I definitely feel I’m losing a part of myself but I’m really excited for what’s to come.”
“Going to Beijing and competing and coming home with three golds and three world records was a complete shock and the best moment that I could have ever experienced,” she added.