Steph Rice was one of the top individual medley swimmers in the world in from 2006 until her retirement from the sport in 2014. She gained a sizeable collection of silver (2) and bronze (5) medals at the World Championships, but broke with that tradition at the 2008 Olympics, where she won three golds, claiming the gold in both medley events, equalling the feats of Yana Klochkova who did so at the previous two Olympics, and Michelle Smith (1996) and Tracy Caulkins (1984). Rice crowned her performances by setting world records in these events as well. She also contributed to a world record in the 4 x 200 m relay final, where she led off the Australian team to the Olympic title. Rice lost her 200 m medley world record in 2009, but still held the 400 m world record as of 2011. Apart from her Olympic gold medals, Rice’s prize cabinet also features two golds from the 2006 Commonwealth Games held in Melbourne.
Rice suffered from shoulder problems between the Beijing and London Games and required several surgeries which blunted her performance following 2008. Her last races came at the London Olympics although she did not officially retire until April 2014. An inductee of the Australian Swimming Hall of Fame, she has since based herself in California although she traveled around the world as a coach,
Personal Bests: 200 Medley – 2:07.03 (2009); 400 Medley – 4:29.45 (2008).