The decorated Australian swimmer Stephanie Rice has announced her retirement from the sport.

Rice, who won three gold medals at the 2008 Olympic Games, confirmed the news in a video on her official website.

The Queenslander, 25, has been plagued by injury since the London Games, having undergone three shoulder operations in the wake of them.

"London was really tough," she said in the video.

"There were so many things that went wrong for me in that preparation and it was like I was trying so hard to make everything so perfect and everything went wrong.

"Coming off the Games, I really didn't want to make a rash decision on my career and if I was going to keep swimming or not because I was still too emotional about the whole preparation that I'd just been through."

Rice won the 200-metre and 400-metre individual medleys in Beijing, as well as the 4x200m freestyle.

She retires as one of just seven Australians to win three golds at a single Games.