TV Guide

Stephanie Rice opens up about life after swimming

Wednesday on SAS Australia, Olympic Champion Stephanie Rice suffered a painful injury that threatened to end her time on the course, while Anthony “The Man” Mundine revealed his heartbreak about missing out on selection for The Kangaroo Tour. 

In the first task of the day, the 10 remaining recruits confronted their fear of heights to rappel 50 metres from an abandoned tower before infiltrating a window to complete a rescue.

Unimpressed by Anthony Mundine’s performance during the task, the DS called him in for questioning, where he opened up about his disappointment of missing selection for the Kangaroos squad and the system that tried to silence his outspoken views.

“I was an NRL player and NRL is a brutal sport. I debuted in 1993 when I was 18 years old. I was only a skinny kid. And I was carvin’ up, but I felt like I wasn’t getting the accolades. If I was a white fella …”

DS Ant Middleton asked Anthony if he believed his non-selection came down to race. 

“One hundred per cent!” said Anthony. “1999 was one of my best years. At the end of that year, they were taking a tour to England. Don’t know if it was the World Cup. But they were taking 42 men to go on this tour. I was the best player in the league. No doubt.”

“The Australian coach said I didn’t get picked because of my ‘off-field characteristics’. I don’t drink, I don’t smoke, never took drugs in my life. But I’m very outspoken. They just wanted to show me they were in power. You do what we say and then you’ll see some fruits.”

“They didn’t pick me and that crushed me. Devastated me. Ripped my heart out, basically. I was playing from a young age. I should have been picked. You ask any of my peers who played in 1999. Should I get picked? One hundred per cent of them would say yes.’’

In the second task of the day, the recruits went through live grenade training, infiltrating a building under heavy fire.  

Diving awkwardly into the sand during the task, Stephanie dislocated her shoulder and was seen on course by a medic who popped it back into place before she was taken to hospital for X-rays.  

Medically cleared and determined to return to the course, Stephanie opened up about the disappointment of the 2012 London Olympics and her current sense of loneliness and lack of purpose in life.

“When I think about failure. I think about the London Olympics. Everything went wrong, I got injured. I tore the tendon in my shoulder eight months before the London Olympics. I didn’t have time to repair it. I just trained on it torn for eight months. I was disappointed things didn’t align the way I knew they could have.” 

“I really struggled. 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.”

Monday night on SAS Australia: A night beasting claims another withdrawal. The recruits come under attack and capture before facing each other in hand-to-hand combat.

The star recruits remaining on SAS Australia in 2023 are: 

Abbey Holmes, 32 – AFL Field Commentator

Anthony Mundine, 47 – World Champion Boxer

Dr Craig Challen, 57 – Thai Cave Rescue Hero

Craig McLachlan, 57 – Actor

Mahalia Murphy, 29 – International Rugby Star

Matthew Mitcham, 35 – Olympic Gold Diver 

Peter Bol, 29 – Olympic Runner

Stephanie Rice, 34 – Olympic Champion 

Tim Robards, 40 – OG Bachelor

Zima Anderson, 25 – Actor

SAS Australia - continues 7.30pm Monday on Channel 7 and 7plus 


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