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Aussie swimming legend Lisa Curry has revealed for the first time how she accidentally fell pregnant at age 18 and the heartbreaking experience of having to terminate.
Writing in her new autobiography 'Lisa: A memoir – 60 years of life, love & loss', Curry opens up on the tumultuous time when she was first making her name in Australian swimming.
Curry moved to Canberra in 1981 on a scholarship to the Australian Institute of Sport, leaving her then-boyfriend in Brisbane.
However her life was turned upside down when she realised her period was late.
“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," she writes.
“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?”
Curry eventually told AIS boss Don Talbot, who helped her arrange a termination.
The swimming champion said she felt she had no other choice at the time.
“For someone who loves and adores babies so much, I look back on this decision now with surprise. But I was very young,” she writes.
“I wanted to swim, and there seemed to be no other option for me.
“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."
The 59-year-old broke up with her boyfriend soon after, but holds no regrets.
“I’m not proud of this story, but I don’t regret it either," she said.
"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 Curry reveals daughter's final moments
Curry was rocked by the tragic death of daughter Jaimi in 2020, who passed away at age 33 after a battle with illness.
In her new autobiography, Curry opens up about her heartbreaking final moments with Jaimi.
Curry and former husband Grant Kenny rushed to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital after receiving a call from their daughter that she was vomiting blood.
They were initially told that Jaimi was in a stable condition and left the hospital, but were told by doctors to come back just 40 minutes later.
"I ran to her and called softly, 'Jaimi, Jaimi, it's Mum. Open your eyes, baby, open your eyes," Curry writes.
"Squeeze my hand if you can hear me.' But there was no response, there was just nothing. I was numb."
Jaimi's kidneys then shut down and she died that night.
"Hearing those words, I was sobbing. 'No, no, no, I'm not ready!' Even though we'd known for years this time would come, we didn't want it to be real," Curry said.
Curry rose to prominence as part of the relay team that won silver at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton.
At the 1982 Games in Brisbane she won three gold medals and a bronze, following that up at the 1990 Commonwealth Games in Auckland with four gold medals.
She also competed for Australia at the Olympics in 1980, 1984 and 1992.
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