ENTERTAINMENT

Lisa Curry opens up on life after the loss of her daughter, Jaimi Kenny

"I don’t feel like the same person anymore."
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As Australia’s “golden girl” of swimming, Lisa Curry has lived a life of incredible achievements and devastating losses. And while she used to measure her moments in seconds – the difference between being defeated or smashing a world record – as she approaches a milestone birthday on May 15, the former elite athlete is reflecting on her years.

WATCH: Lisa Curry speaks about her daughter Jaimi on ABC

“I’m turning 60 this year and now it feels like the right time to share my story, with all its highs and lows,” the three-time Olympian tells WHO of her new memoir, Lisa: A Memoir – 60 Years of Life, Love & Loss. “I hope by sharing my story I can help other people who may be experiencing some of the things my family and I have experienced.”

In 1986, Lisa seemed to have it all. Marrying champion Ironman Grant Kenny, 58, the sun-kissed couple were the epitome of the Aussie dream. They quickly welcomed three children, daughters Jaimi and Morgan, 30, and son Jett, 28. Lisa became a super-mum, who seemed to effortlessly juggle family life while continuing to swim at an elite level and add to her extensive medal haul.

Behind the scenes, it wasn’t as rosy as it seemed. Lisa and Grant split in 2009, which “especially” affected their eldest daughter. Jaimi also began secretly battling an eating disorder in her teens, followed by alcoholism. 

Lisa
Lisa lost her daughter, Jaimi, in 2020. (Credit: Instagram)

Jaimi lost her fight on September 14, 2020, passing away at the age of 33 with both her parents by her side. Tragically, Lisa also lost her mother Pat Curry earlier this year.

“It was very challenging to write about losing my beautiful daughter Jaimi and my mum – they were my bookends,” she says. “I’ve always found it incredibly difficult to talk about Jaimi, but have found at times it can be easier to write about my feelings,” she explains.

As she has “sifted through boxes” of her childhood memories and accolades, including her seven gold Commonwealth Games medals, to write the tome, Lisa realised just how special her life has been.

“I was able to see how lucky I have been to live such a big life,” she reveals. “I’m surrounded by so many people who love me and care about me, including my beautiful children and my husband Mark. I feel very fortunate to have made it to this stage,” she adds of her new life on a farm on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast with second husband Mark Tabone.

lisa and mark
Lisa and Mark live a happy life on the farm. (Credit: Instagram)

But it’s also taught the grandmother-of-two some important lessons.

“In the end it’s not about winning and medals, it’s about family and love,” she says. “You won’t always succeed, but by getting back up and trying again, you’ll end up being exactly where you’re meant to be.”

Lisa: A Memoir – 60 Years of Life, Love & Loss by Lisa Curry with Ellen Whinnett is on sale now. Pick up a copy for $28.95 from Booktopia, shop here.

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