SYDNEY, Australia, June 25. OLYMPIC champion Stephanie Rice can add another victory to her impressive list of accomplishments as the 25-year-old won the Australian version of Celebrity Apprentice today over a field of competitors that included swimming legend Dawn Fraser.
Rice won the final selection after nine weeks of competition over runner John Steffensen, businesswoman Roxy Jacenko and boxer Jeff Fenech. Similar to the American version of the show, the celebrities are tasked with completing various challenges, and those who perform poorly are “fired” by the show CEO, which in the Australian version is mortgage millionaire Mark Bouris.
For winning the reality show, Rice received $181,750. Some of that was donated to her charity, The Heart Foundation, while reports indicate $40,000 was given to the three charities of the first three fired contestants, since those contestants were not on the show long enough to earn money.
Some of the tasks the celebrities endured included running a fish and chips shop, run a laundromat and create various promotional spots for products. Rice was part of one winning task, which involved telling a personal story of a member of their team, and was part of two teams that lost that week's challenge. She was brought to the boardroom in the eighth week but was not fired. In the final week, she won the challenge of creating a wall of support for those involved in the Don Bosco House, a organization helping homeless teens and adults.
Fraser, who was the first to win the same individual event at the Olympics three times when she took the 100 free in 1956, 1960 and 1964, was fired in the eighth week. Fraser raised $60,000 for her charity, Sunshine Coast Riding for the Disabled.
Rice told Melbourne Herald Sun that the victory has inspired her to pursue her dream of running a business, and that will entail expanding her Freestyle swimwear line for kids. She said she's keeping her options open in terms of returning to competitive swimming.
“I have the opportunity to go back to swimming and it is something I would really love to do but I pretty much want to get my company off the ground first which will happen at the end of the year,” she said. “I have achieved the pinnacle of my sporting career, so to go back I really have to refocus and find a new goal of something I want to achieve.”
Rice won three Olympic gold medals in 2008, setting the world records in the 200 and 400 individual medleys, as well as the 800 freestyle relay. She competed in the 2012 Olympics, placing in the top eight in the IM races.