Stephanie Rice Rings the Retirement Bell

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By Dhrubajyoti Biswas | April 9, 2014 3:12 PM EST

Former Olympic champion Stephanie Rice declared her retirement from swimming and vowed not "to make a comeback."

The 25-year-old Rice made this official statement through her Web site on Wednesday.

"I knew that I really had to take the time for myself to get to the point where I knew 100 per cent what I wanted to do ... And I never wanted to make a comeback, so the decision that I wanted to make was definitely final and coming to that point today and not continuing my swimming career is, it's sad ... Like I definitely feel I'm losing a part of myself but I'm really excited for what's to come," Rice mentioned in a video statement.

Rice was only 19 years old when she made a world record in the national trials 2008 for the Beijing Olympics.

Stephanie bagged three gold medals, winning the 200 and 400 meters titles, followed by the 4x200 meters freestyle relay.

Rice's relation with swimmer Eamon Sullivan also secured her position as a fixture in gossip magazines.  

"Going to Beijing and competing and coming home with three golds and three world records was a complete shock and the best moment that I could have ever experienced," she said.

Stephanie suffered from a shoulder injury which led to a dismal performance in the London Olympics. Her failure equally affected the Australian team. She later had to undergo three shoulder surgeries.

 "London was really tough ... There were so many things that went wrong for me in that preparation and it was like I was trying so hard to make everything so perfect and everything went wrong," Rice added.

Meanwhile, former athletes, friends and fans paid tribute to the legendary swimmer after announcing her retirement.  

A tweet from Australian Olympic Committee stated, "Congratulations (on) an outstanding career! 1 of 7 Aussies to win 3 gold at 1 Games." 

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