Winner: Stephanie Rice avoided being fired.

Sweet victory: Stephanie Rice avoided being fired.

Olympic swimming gold medallist Stephanie Rice is a now a champion on dry land after winning The Celebrity Apprentice.

Rice found out about her victory just hours before the final aired on Tuesday night.

Roxy and I are definitely not going to hang out and have a coffee. 

"It's been a whirlwind," the swimmer said on Wednesday, after beating runner John Steffenson, boxer Jeff Fenech and Sydney businesswoman Roxy Jacenko in the competition.

Rivalry... Roxy Jacenko, centre, with the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice.

No love lost: Roxy Jacenko, centre, with the cast of The Celebrity Apprentice.

The 25-year-old Queenslander was stunned to make it to the final two alongside Steffenson, and was left breathless by her victory.

But then she had to go back and film an alternate version in which big boss Mark Bouris picked Steffenson.

"We basically had to do everything times two... it was just really awkward," she laughed.

Rice with Mark Bouris.

Winning smile: Rice with Mark Bouris.

"I threw back a champagne and said let's just do it, let's just be fake and get it done."

The different endings are a TV trick to keep the identity of the winner secret as long as possible, but for Rice, it didn't make the process any easier.

"It was so tense, oh my god, it was definitely just the longest boardroom ever," she said of the final judgement by Bouris and panellists Deborah Thomas and Dane Bouris.

But she was thrilled to share the final moments with Steffenson.

"I've been on Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams with him since I was 16 or 17," she said. "To see him come out and show a completely different side to what I think a lot of people's perception of him was, was wonderful."

Rice said the same applied to her, given her run-ins with the media in the past. She said she believed opportunities would always go to nice people with good hearts.

"I never wanted to make people not like me just because I wanted to win," she said.

"I guess that's what's been a little bit frustrating about some of the press that's come out about some of the other contestants."

She said there was no love lost between her and Jacenko who had an abrasive relationship on the series.

"It's quite intense making the series...if we were all sitting down having a coffee we would not have had the blow-ups we did," Rice said.

"Roxy and I are definitely not going to hang out and have a coffee.

"I understand her method works but it's not how I like to communicate with people."

Rice personally raised more than $100,000 for her charity of choice and decided to donate $40,000 of her $100,000 prize money to other contestants' charities, including her friends Prinnie Stevens and Kym Johnson.

"I think because I'd already raised so much money for Jump Rope for Heart... if I was to get another $100,000, I felt like it would be more beneficial to give all these other charities some money."

Rice took 2013 off swimming to have a shoulder operation, move to Sydney and launch her own line of children's sleepwear called Freestyle.

She said she's taken valuable experience away from Celebrity Apprentice.

"I don't have any experience in promoting brands, how to run an event, all of that was really new to me," she said.

"I'm really just trying to test a lot of different opportunities and see which one falls better, and what I enjoy more."

with AAP