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Survivor

Australian Survivor: Steven Bradbury’s shock confession

Becoming Australia’s most recognisable person overnight took its toll on the Olympian

By Zara Zubeidi
Speed-skater Steven Bradbury became a global phenomenon after his shock gold medal win at the 2002 Winter Olympics.
But in spite of his success, the Australian Survivor star admits he struggled to adapt to life afterwards – to the point he couldn't even go to the supermarket.
"I went from complete anonymity to Australia's most recognisable person overnight," he tells TV WEEK.
"It was all fantastic but it was a little bit overwhelming. It got to the point where I didn't even want to go to the supermarket because I knew I'd be standing in a queue getting my photo taken and signing autographs. It was too much after a while. It was just easier to order a takeaway."
Steven Bradbury says there was a downside to his 2002 Gold Medal win. Image: 10
Steven found social situations difficult in the wake of his win.
"I found social settings without alcohol a little bit difficult," he reveals. "It was the same questions, the same conversations… It was always about me, even though I was doing my best to change the conversation and make it about the other person.
"But if I had a few beers under my belt, it became a lot more manageable. I probably pushed it [ alcohol] fairly hard for the first couple of years."
Thankfully, Steven was able to control his drinking before it spiralled.
"It wasn't a problem where I was verging on the word alcoholic," he explains. "If I was at home, I wouldn't drink at all. I just felt I needed it in social situations to take the edge off. I knew I didn't have a problem, but it wasn't good. I was able to realise that before things got worse."
Australian Survivor, Monday, Tuesday and Sunday, 7.30pm, 10

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