Olympic champ Stephanie Rice reveals post-swim woes

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Olympic champion Stephanie Rice has joined the growing number of former swimmers to reveal their post-competition blues in the wake of Grant Hackett's recent personal issues.

The triple gold medallist took to social media in a show of support for Hackett, who is believed to have gone into hiding after telling police he was "alive and sober" on the Gold Coast on Thursday.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 28:  Stephanie Rice of Australia swims butterfly as she competes in heat four of the Women's 400m Individual Medley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2012 in London, England.  (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

Stephanie Rice of Australia swims butterfly as she competes in heat four of the women's 400m individual iedley on Day One of the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Source: Getty

Since Hackett's arrest following an incident at his father's home on Wednesday, several of the troubled Olympian's former teammates have spoken of their own battles to adjust to life outside the pool.

"It wasn't until about a year after finishing my athletic career when all the dust settled, and the realisation of no longer being "current" and recognised for being the best at something set in," Ms Rice posted on Instagram.

"When you take away the vehicle in which you receive this recognition it definitely takes a huge hit on your self worth.

"I believe it's incredibly important to take the time to develop and work on your self from the inside out."

Former Australian Olympic swim team coach Brian Sutton says the reason so many swimmers struggle out of the water could be biological.

"A lot of the high achievers in our sport, they basically become a victim of their own success," Mr Sutton told Nine Network on Friday.

"We need to realise that these athletes are actually addicted to dopamine, which is the achievement drug that the brain releases."

Mr Sutton said elite swimmers needed support after their sports careers ended.

"We need to wean them off swimming and ... redefine what success is, because success in the pool is a lot different to success in life," he said.

Hackett has been in the spotlight this week after he was arrested, but not charged, when his parents called police to their Mermaid Waters home on Wednesday.

After going missing for several hours on Thursday, Hackett made contact to confirm his wellbeing, although his father Neville said he was still unsure where the 36-year-old was.

Earlier on Thursday, Hackett posted a picture of himself with facial injuries which he blamed on his brother Craig, to Instagram.

"He's actually hiding because he's very, very embarrassed about all this," Mr Hackett said outside the family home on Thursday.

Craig Hackett earlier this week told reporters about the family's struggles with Hackett's "chronic" mental health issues.

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