Stephanie Rice is a triple Olympic gold medallist, a former world record holder and is now a health and fitness reporter and has once again showed us that no one is immune to some of the harsher realities in life.
In a recent article interview with The Sunday Telegraph Rice, who is now a contestant on the latest instalment of Celebrity Apprentice Australia, shared that she was bullied as a child and has dealt with self image issues for much of her life, “I was bullied quite a lot through primary school,” said Rice.
“It was terrible. I would cry every day, it was really bad. I was very self conscious.
“It was terrible. I would cry every day, it was really bad. I was very self conscious. I was a bit chubbier and swimming gave me something special. People would look at me back at school and never would have thought I would have gotten to where I am now.”
Rice won both the 200 and 400 IM and was on the Australian gold medal winning 4 x 200 freestyle relay team at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.
Even though swimming did give her a safe haven she still had an obsession with her weight that was unhealthy, “Almost every girl I know has been through something similar,” she explained.
“Just in that high school phase, I used to try and be like all these other girls at school and wouldn’t eat very much yet I was training hectically and these other girls weren’t.
“I definitely went through a phase – I wouldn’t call it an eating disorder – but I was definitely very conscious of my weight.”
“I’m glad I got through that and the way I did was just educating myself on food and how the body works.”
Rice, who is considering a return to the pool, told the Herald Sun that learned some hard lessons growing up in the national spotlight,”I guess a lot of people think I’m a lot older than I actually am because I was thrown into the spotlight and the world of media at 17,” she said.
“I had to try and figure out who I am and what I stand for as well as the pressure of swimming. I feel like I’m in a really great place at the moment where I know what I want out of life where I probably didn’t before.”
“I have definitely made mistakes in my life and I’m more than happy to admit that. I used to be very emotional if people didn’t like me or if something negative was written about me. I can’t pin my happiness on what other people think.”
“It was a hard lesson but people have it much harder than me so I’m not at trying to use that for attention.”