Olympic gold medallist Stephanie Rice has opened up about her new dedication to religion after moving to Dubai.
The champion swimmer, 35, who bought a one-way ticket to Dubai to start a new life, has revealed how turning to God has ‘helped her feel so supported in my new home.’
She shared a photo to Instagram of herself and other members of the Kingdom City church gathering for prayer.
‘I honestly never thought I would be this person turning up on prayer nights, on my own, in a new country, connecting with a community through a church,’ she wrote.
‘But here I am and gosh it is so special and has helped me feel so supported in this new home in Dubai.’
Olympics great Stephanie Rice has turned to god after her shock move to Dubai to start a new life as she battles serious mental health issues
Kingdom City started in 2003 in Perth and is founded by Mark Varughese.
It has now expanded into a global movement with branches in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, Asia and Australia.
Following her post, Stephanie thanked fans for their support as she struggles with her mental health.
‘Thank you to all the beautiful people that share your love and support every single day. I just want to highlight a few things when it comes to negative comments,’ she began.
‘Firstly, please consider how your comments could effect someone that is truly is struggling with their mental health.’
‘I thankfully am resilient and strong and have been through this before I know how to hand it but some people don’t have that strength… so please consider that before you feel the need to say something that really doesn’t serve anyone but yourself.’
She went on to say ‘this year has been one of the many tears from the struggle, disappointment, heartache and ultimately loss in faith.’
‘I want to share openly with you to give you courage in seasons of struggle but also so you can be reminded that God will bless you again,’ she continued.
‘And when he goes I will share that too because I adore seeing people happy and thriving, it gives me hope for my own life.’
‘As my journey unfolds and blessings come, I hope you can see all that’s possible for your own life and we can enjoy it all together.’
The champion swimmer, who bought a one-way ticket to Dubai to start a new life, has revealed how turning to God has ‘helped me feel so supported in my new home’
Following her post, Stephanie thanked fans for their support as she struggles with her mental health
It comes just one day after Stephanie responded to online trolls who savaged her over her move to start a new life in Dubai.
The swimmer copped the abuse when she posted an emotional clip of herself sitting in first class as she left Australia last week.
‘Packed up my whole live (sic) in Australia, bought a one-way ticket to Dubai to start a new chapter and I’m feeling all the emotions surrounding this fresh start … but God is good,’ Rice captioned the video.
However her post sparked a backlash from critics, with one person writing: ‘Was this your third or fourth take of the video.’
‘Must be so hard getting great opportunities and flying first class,’ another said.
On Wednesday, Stephanie posted an Instagram video featuring clips of her crying as she hit low points in her life, footage from her stint on SAS Australia reality TV show and happier moments.
The post was accompanied by the words: ‘We’ve all been broken at some point, some more than others… but never let that dampen your ability to shine love out into the world and onto others.
‘I see the negative comments on my recent posts, but what I feel is the hurt that must be behind those comments.’
Stephanie then went on to open up about her new dedication to religion.
‘My commitment to God is a new walk for me, I have fears, I have doubts, I have concerns… but I also know that the way I was moving through life before is not how I want to go forward,’ she wrote.
‘So to those struggling, stand strong, walk proud, you’ve come so far. Honour your journey, wounds and all…it’s made you into the beautiful soul you are today.’
It comes just one day after Stephanie responded to online trolls who have savaged her over her move to start a new life in Dubai
The Olympic Gold Medalist appeared on Channel 7’s SAS Australia earlier in the year where she spoke out about her struggles since retiring from swimming.
‘I felt really lost after I finished swimming,’ she said.
‘I didn’t feel like I had any purpose or any direction and I didn’t feel like anybody understood.
‘I felt like I haven’t really trained for anything since I finished competing – like I haven’t really had a goal to work towards, one specific thing.’
She previously revealed that she suffered from anxiety and depression that left her feeling ‘lost and confused’, with the condition worsening when there was a major swimming competition taking place.
The swimmer copped the abuse when she posted an emotional clip of herself sitting in first class as she left Australia last week