Australian swimmer Steph Rice announces retirement

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Wednesday, April 9, 2014

One of Australia's most famous swimming Olympians, Stephanie Rice, 25, announced her retirement earlier today.

Rice in 2012
Image: Eva Rinaldi.

The swimmer addressed the Australian public in a video. Here she thanked everyone that has supported her and reflected back on her Olympic career, "It's sad, I definitely feel like I'm losing a part of myself, but I'm really excited about what's about to come."

After several shoulder operations in the lead up to the 2012 London Olympics, Rice fell short of her own expectations. Disappointed with her performance, she says she wanted to give herself a year or two break before making any decisions about the future. "I felt a lot of pressure to live up to everyone's expectations and fulfil their answers, but I knew I had to take the time for myself to get to the point where I knew 100 percent what I wanted to do," she says.

Long-time swimming coach Michael Bohl confirmed Rice's doubts after the London Olympics in a telephone interview with The Associated Press today. "She couldn't get the best out of herself there," he says "but with what she endured, she didn't want to retire with question marks. She wanted a year or two to think about it."

While Rice has left her career plans unanswered, she hopes to use her popularity with the Australian public as a platform to something else. "It's safe to say that's the new goal and new passion for me... to prove myself out of the water."


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