Leisel Jones lifts the lid on 'really hurtful' Dawn Fraser sledge

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Leisel Jones, pictured here after she missed gold at the 2004 Olympics.
Dawn Fraser called Leisel Jones a "spoiled brat" after she missed gold at the 2004 Olympics. Image: Getty

Aussie swimming champion Leisel Jones has spoken out about a 'hurtful' sledge from Dawn Fraser 17 years ago that has never been addressed.

Jones went into the 2004 Olympics in Athens as the overwhelming favourite for gold in the 100m breaststroke.

She was the world record holder in the event and broke the Olympic record in the semi-finals.

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But it all went wrong for the 20-year-old in the final as she was sensationally upstaged by Xuejuan Luo of China and compatriot Brooke Hanson.

Jones finished with the bronze medal and cut a dejected and disappointed figure on the podium after the race.

And a brutal rebuke from Fraser only made things worse, with the Aussie swimming legend labelling Jones a "spoiled brat" with a “swollen head”.

Speaking on the 'Stellar' Magazine podcast Something To Talk About with Samantha Armytage, Jones revealed she and Fraser still haven't addressed the issue 17 years later.

“No I haven’t had that discussion and it would be something that would be very therapeutic,” Jones said. 

“I think in that instance, it has to come from the person who said it.

“I probably could stand up and say ‘that’s really hurtful and I don’t think I deserved that’, but I’ve never really had the opportunity to talk with her when it’s not at a function or anything like that.

“I wouldn’t say she actually knows me as a person. 

"She’s never really spoken to me or never really taken the time to speak to me, so it’s just one of those things. I just don’t think she knows me.”

Leisel Jones, pictured here at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Leisel Jones (L) at the Athens Olympics in 2004. (Photo by Tony Marshall/EMPICS via Getty Images)

Leisel Jones says Dawn Fraser's sledge not the truth

Jones said Fraser's comments were particularly hurtful because they couldn't have been further from the truth.

“The issue with that is that it’s so far from who I was. I worked so incredibly hard,” she said. 

“I was never born with a silver spoon in my mouth.

“We had our house repossessed when I was 12 because my parents' marriage broke down and we had to move out of that home and that house was repossessed by the bank.

"I worked hard for everything I ever had in my life.

“The comment would be fair enough if I was a spoiled brat, I had everything provided for me and my childhood was fantastic. 

"But it certainly wasn’t the easiest.”

Jones went on to claim gold in the 100m breaststroke four years later in Bejing, as well as silver in the 200m.

She was a force to be reckoned with in both events for many years, winning two world championship gold medals in each.

Watch 'Mind Games', the new series from Yahoo Sport Australia exploring the often brutal mental toil elite athletes go through in pursuit of greatness:

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