The three-time gold medalist took the shot of herself wearing a birthday gift from designer Ellie Gonsalves and posted it on Twitter. It made figurative waves one month before she defends her Olympic titles in both individual medleys.
Some Twitter commenters thought it was another disgrace to an Australian swim team that's recently dealt with a gun controversy. There was also concern that Rice's sponsor, Speedo, would be upset by the photo because -- I don't know -- they don't like free publicity? But, rest assured, Rice isn't even with Speedo anymore!
Oh, how you disappointment me my Aussie friends. I can see how this would be a big deal in America, what with our Puritanical sensibilities and penchant for affected moral outrage. But in Australia? The land founded as a penal colony where everyone's laid back, even when comparing the size of their knives? She's a swimmer in a swimsuit! That's like getting upset at Michael Phelps for walking around shirtless. Plus, isn't it like 115 degrees during Melbourne summers? I just assumed everyone walked around like this.
My theory: This controversy was ginned up so papers in Australia had a legitimate reason to run the photo. For shame, y'all. We'd never stoop so low in the United States. (See below for more Rice photos.)
The current 400 IM world-record holder has been in trouble before for tweeting racy pictures. A few years ago, she posted this picture of herself dressed as a police woman.
Despite the absurdity over the uproar, Stephanie isn't necessarily in the right. Doesn't she know the rule about taking racy photos of yourself in the mirror and sending them over social networks? Angle the phone to the right so the flash doesn't obscure your face! Or don't take them. Yeah, that's what I'm probably supposed to say there.