Australian Olympian Stephanie Rice has broken down on air after dropping a devastating truth surrounding her personal life.
The three-time gold medallist was left in tears as she detailed her relationships in a heartbreaking interview.
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Rice is appearing on Channel 7’s SAS Australia and suffered a dislocated shoulder that almost resulted in her being withdrawn from the show.
After being medically cleared to return she sat down with SAS instructor Ant Middleton where she revealed she had struggled since retiring from swimming in 2014.
“I really struggled,” she said.
“I felt really lost after I finished swimming.
“I didn’t feel like I had any purpose or any direction and I didn’t feel like anybody understood.
“I felt like I haven’t really trained for anything since I finished competing – like I haven’t really had a goal to work towards, one specific thing.
“Having an athletic goal is something I know how to do. I know how to prep for that. I know how to train and push myself and I’ve always loved that feeling.
“I don’t know if I’ll ever find something that was the same as what swimming was.”
But it was when the conversation moved to Rice’s personal life and her relationship status that the Olympian broke down.
“It’s harder,” she said as her voice began to break.
“I think it’d be nice to have somebody to go through the harder times.
“I would love to have somebody to help through, like ride the waves.”
Middleton then asked the Aussie swim star what she had to look forward to when she returned home after the show, the answer was heartbreaking.
“At the moment, not a lot,” she replied.
Rice’s love life has previously made headlines around the world.
After splitting from Aussie swimming great Eamonn Sullivan following the Beijing Olympics, rumours spread Rice had been romantically linked with Michael Phelps, former NRL winger David “Wolfman” Williams and Aussie swimming bad boy Nic D’Arcy.
Middleton suggested Rice “needed” to complete the SAS course for her own personal journey.
“Yeah, I do need this,” she agreed tearfully.
Rice opened up about the struggles she faced during the final years of her swimming career and how she wanted her final Olympics to be over before they evan began.
“Eight months out of the London Olympics, I tore the tendons in my shoulder,” she said.
“I remember sitting down with a physio and he said that I would need surgery to recover it.
“My goal was to compete at the London Olympics, whether I had a torn tendon in my shoulder or not.
“I was not going to miss that opportunity. I trained through pain every single day.”
She added: “When I think about failure, I would think about the London Olympics. Everything went wrong. I got injured, I got sick.
“I needed a break to step away from swimming. Things didn’t align the way I knew they could have.
“I just remember really longing for it to be over. And that was the day of the opening ceremony, just wanting it to be done.
“I couldn’t wait for it to be over so I could actually take a break.”