Three-time Olympics champion Stephanie Rice will be among four inductees to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame next month.
The Queenslander is just the seventh Australians to win three gold medals at a single Olympics when she dominated the individual medley event in Beijing and won the 200m freestyle relay in world record time.
Rice shot to prominence as a 17-year-old at the Melbourne Commonwealth Games in 2006 when she won gold in the 200m and 400m IM.
The next year at the world championships, also in the Victorian capital, she won bronze medals in both events, lowering the Australian record in the 400m.
She went on to set five world records and in 2008 was named Australian and world swimmer of the year.
Rice will be the 55th swimmer to enter the Sport Australia Hall of Fame – the most inductees of any sport, ahead of cricket with 42 and athletics with 34.
“It’s really cool,” Rice said.
“I think the thing for me with the induction is it’s nice to just go back and reflect on a past life.
I’m obviously proud of my gold medals but that’s just the token that you get for all the hard work that goes into it.
“So when I look back and you say ‘what are you most proud of’, I’m proud of being super dedicated, being really focused, being hardworking, being a good-quality person.”
Rice will be among four Australian sporting greats to be inducted to the Hall of Fame with shooter Russell Mark, cyclist Robbie McEwen and triathlete Emma Snowsill to also be bestowed that honour.
The winner of the ‘The Don’ Award, presented to the athlete who has most inspired the nation, and the 41st Legend of Australian sport will both be announced at the gala ceremony and dinner on October 10 in Melbourne.