Leisel Jones is rightly regarded as one of the greatest breaststrokers ever. At just fifteen, she won two silver medals at the Sydney Olympic Games in 2000; she went on to win gold at Athens and Beijing and at London 2012 became the first Australian swimmer to compete at four Olympics.
For the first time, Leisel reveals the constant pressure she was under – from coaches, from the media and from herself – to be perfect. Despite the highs of her swimming stardom, she suffered depression, and at one time attempted to take her own life. In London, criticised by the media for her weight, and appalled by the bulling and dysfunction in the Australian swim team, Leisel nevertheless handled herself with great composure. She has emerged with maturity and good humour, having finally learnt how to be herself and live with confidence.
In Body Lengths, Leisel candidly describes what it’s like to be thrust into the limelight so young. Body Lengths is the inspiring story of an Australian sporting hero, told with humour, optimism and style.
ABOUT THE AUTHORS
Leisel Jones retired from swimming in 2012 as the winner of three Olympic gold medals, and many Commonwealth and world championship medals. She was a commentator for the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and recently appeared on the Australian I’m a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here.
Felicity McLean is a freelance author. She has written for numerous publications, including the Big Issue, The Daily Telegraph, The Herald Sun and The Courier-Mail, and has published several books.
FROM THE EDITOR
I found Body Lengths a very gripping read: you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy it! With Felicity McLean’s help, Leisel has written from the heart and the result is an authentic and intensely relatable story. Leisel’s honesty about her struggles with depression, body image issues and discovering how to be herself in the limelight make this a very empowering read for young women. – Kirstie Innes-Will, Senior Editor, Black Inc.