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Former Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice breaks down in tears in an emotional Instagram video


Former Olympic swimmer Stephanie Rice breaks down in tears in an emotional video as she reveals her battle with mental health – and admits she ‘felt lost, depressed and irrelevant’ after retiring


Stephanie Rice has revealed her battle with mental health after retiring from swimming back in 2014.

In an emotionally charged post on Instagram on Sunday, the 33-year-old former Olympic champion revealed her mental health took a hit after she quit the sport.

She also shared a short video of herself wiping away tears from her eyes as she confessed she ‘felt lost, depressed [and] irrelevant’ after leaving swimming. 

Brave: Stephanie Rice has revealed her battle with mental health after retiring from swimming back in 2014

‘I tossed around with posting this for a month or so because its important for me to try and articulate the raw emotions of this in the truest form,’ she began.

‘Watching the Olympics will always probably be tough emotionally for me, because it brings back so many strong emotions, both good and bad.’

Stephanie said that many elite athletes suffer from mental health issues, particularly after they ‘transition’ into retirement. 

Raw: In an emotionally charged post on Instagram on Sunday, the 33-year-old Olympic champion revealed her mental health took a hit after she quit the sport

Raw: In an emotionally charged post on Instagram on Sunday, the 33-year-old Olympic champion revealed her mental health took a hit after she quit the sport

‘Many athletes and high performers speak about the challenges they face with mental health around transition,’ she continued. 

‘For me, transitioning was f**king hard… and still is at times. After swimming, I felt lost, depressed, irrelevant and as though I had achieved the pinnacle of my life at 24 and everything moving forward would be far less exciting and special.

‘So in order for me to move on, I had to completely let go of the person I was as an athlete and rediscover myself without the title of being ‘a swimmer’. 

Speaking out: She also shared a short video of herself wiping away tears from her eyes as she confessed she 'felt lost, depressed [and] irrelevant' after leaving swimming

Speaking out: She also shared a short video of herself wiping away tears from her eyes as she confessed she ‘felt lost, depressed [and] irrelevant’ after leaving swimming

‘This bought up loads of deep-seated insecurities that I was able to hide by the validation and recognition I got by being a Gold Medallist.’

But Stephanie added that she’s in a much better headspace now after doing lots of ‘work’ on herself. 

‘Honestly, now, after doing so much “work” on myself, I truly am so, so happy and content. I love my life and the people in it,’ she added. 

'This bought up loads of deep-seated insecurities that I was able to hide by the validation and recognition I got by being a Gold Medallist,' she said of retirement. Pictured at the Beijing Olympics in August 2008

‘This bought up loads of deep-seated insecurities that I was able to hide by the validation and recognition I got by being a Gold Medallist,’ she said of retirement. Pictured at the Beijing Olympics in August 2008

‘But watching the Olympics reminds me of the person I was back then and it’s still hard not to feel sadness that that part of me is gone and isn’t coming back… and that’s what the tears are for.’

Stephanie announced her retirement from swimming back in April 2014, after undergoing three career-ending shoulder surgeries.

‘I definitely feel like I’m losing a part of myself but I’m really excited about what’s to come,’ she said at the time, as reported by The Sydney Morning Herald.  

'After swimming, I felt lost, depressed, irrelevant and as though I had achieved the pinnacle of my life at 24 and everything moving forward would be far less exciting and special,' she wrote. Pictured during a training session at the London Olympics in July 2012

‘After swimming, I felt lost, depressed, irrelevant and as though I had achieved the pinnacle of my life at 24 and everything moving forward would be far less exciting and special,’ she wrote. Pictured during a training session at the London Olympics in July 2012

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