Listen: Duncan Robinson chats to former Olympian Stephanie Rice
Triple Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice used to find her self-worth in fame, fortune and world records—but these days she finds meaning and purpose in deeper things.
Now an entrepreneur with no fixed address and currently no romantic interests, Stephanie spends her time travelling between Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and India, working on a host of projects.
She’s building new brands, designing sportswear, hosting a fitness Youtube Channel, speaking and writing about wellbeing, and – especially fulfilling – supporting charity work to help bring people out of poverty.
On Thursday, October 6, you can see Stephanie reignite her competitive spirit in a curry cook-off against former Australian test cricketer Michael Kasprowicz, for the Great Australian Curry.
It’s the launch event for The Great Australian Curry, a fundraiser for the global charity Opportunity International, which Stephanie partners with the organisation to help break the poverty cycle. They provide microfinance loans to (mostly) women across Asia, with 3.5 million families now working their way out of poverty because of the organisation’s work.
Greater Sense of Purpose in Helping Others
Stephanie, who retired from swimming in 2014, told Hope 103.2’s Duncan Robinson that her greatest sense of purpose now comes from empowering other people to achieve their goals.
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It’s a change from the days when fame and winning were her ultimate goal.
“My perception was that swimming was the pinnacle,” she told Duncan, “and the really scary, daunting thought once I’d finished swimming was: ‘Was that all that I came here to do? Was this the high, and is everything else going to be mediocre from here?’
“It wasn’t until I’d really made that conscious shift…that I really found meaning and purpose.”
“It wasn’t until I’d really made that conscious shift within my own mindset of, ‘What if swimming was the platform in order for me to have these incredible life lessons at such a young age, in order to share them and give and empower other people, to help them achieve their goals?’ that I really found meaning and purpose in what I do.
“I don’t think I ever felt that when I was swimming.”
While Stephanie said she loved her elite swimming years and wouldn’t change any of it, she now feels much more fulfilled.
“What I do now feels so much more meaningful and fulfilling and rewarding.”
She told the Courier Mail that finding deeper purpose in helping others was a life-changing discovery.
“The big lesson for me was…I was placing too much value on the external stuff, that my self-worth was coming from the external, not the internal,” she said.
The Curry Cook-Off night is on Thursday, October 6, at Nilgiri’s Feast of India in Cremorne.
Stephanie, who’s a vegan, is hoping to wow the crowds with a vegan twist and some of her own mum’s cooking tips.
Host Your Own Curry Night
Anyone can get involved in the Great Australian Curry by hosting their own curry gathering at home, at work, or by taking the gang to your favourite Asian or Indian restaurant.
Opportunity International Australia’s CEO Rob Dunn said that a gift of just $70 would help lift an entire family out of poverty.
“With a hand up from Aussies, mothers can start a small business, put food on the table and send their children to school,” he said. “For a family who can’t afford the basics, a gift as small as $70 can be life changing.”
“By raising $350 Aussies can help five families, and $1000 means 14 families can live a better life.”