Champion Australian swimmer Lisa Curry has revealed she accidentally fell pregnant at 18 just as her sporting career was taking off.
In her new book, Lisa: A memoir – 60 years of life, love and loss, Lisa reveals that she fell pregnant in 1981, not long after moving from Queensland to Canberra to take up a scholarship with the Australian Institute for Sport (AIS).
WATCH THE VIDEO ABOVE: Lisa Curry opens up on daughter’s death in emotional interview
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Her boyfriend was still back in Brisbane when the swimming sensation realised she was pregnant.
“The thought filled me with dread – this was completely unplanned and I didn’t know what to do, I was still just 18 years old,” writes Lisa.
“My mind was racing. I didn’t want to be pregnant! It was a mistake. I didn’t want a baby, I was too young, and I wanted to keep swimming. What was I going to do?
Lisa had to tell her swimming coach Don Talbot that she was pregnant.
Her coach – who was also the boss of the AIS – was the person who arranged a termination.
In her memoir, Lisa says she “loves and adores babies” and looks back on the decision with mixed feelings, but at the time she was “very young … I wanted to swim, and there seemed to be no other option for me.”
Lisa travelled to Sydney for the procedure – and took two weeks off before returning to swimming training.
She decided not to tell anyone else about what had happened, keeping the situation a secret even from her closest friends and family.
“I wasn’t upset. I didn’t think it was wrong. But I didn’t tell anybody about it. I don’t think I even told my friends. I’m not even sure my mum ever knew,” she writes.
“I’m not proud of this story, but I don’t regret it either. I didn’t want to be a mum at 18. I wasn’t equipped for it. It wasn’t planned and it wasn’t meant to be.
Lisa went on to have three children – Jaimi, Morgan and Jett – with her former partner Grant Kenny, whom she married in 1984 and separated from in 2009.
Tragically, Jaimi died on 14 September, 2020, at just 33, after a long-term struggle with her mental and physical health.
In her memoir, for the first time Lisa reveals what really happened on the night she faced the gut-wrenching loss.
Jaimi’s death devastated Lisa, who has been open about her sorrow and grief.
“You don’t know what life’s going to throw at you, you don’t know what’s going to happen, so spend time with the people you love,” Lisa writes in the book.
“Get off the phone, get home from work earlier, be with the people that you love the most, because you don’t know what’s in your future.”
In an emotional interview with The Morning Show last year, Lisa spoke about the strength her extended family had given her in the wake of Jaimi’s death.
“The little boys Flynn and Taj, they keep me occupied. I was babysitting them last night, so that was really nice,” she said.
“(Daughter) Morgan’s pregnant again, which is beautiful, and (son) Jett’s really good, he’s doing lots of great things.
“(Ex-husband) Grant’s good except, you know, he’s struggling a lot as well.”