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Olympian Leisel Jones on body shaming, life after swimming - and going public about divorce

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With nine Olympic medals and 14 individual world records to her name, Leisel Jones is one of Australia’s all-time greats. 

But her time as a professional athlete wasn’t all podiums and accolades - it was also full of intense media scrutiny, body shaming, self-doubt, a public lashing from swim legend Dawn Fraser and a pressure to perform that was so intense she now says it left her feeling “almost brainwashed”. 

Twelve years after hanging up her swimsuit for the last time, Leisel admits she isn’t sure whether she’s fully processed that period of her life – or has quite figured out her post-swim identity. 

But she has since embarked on a career in radio, a platform that has given her an opportunity to talk freely about everyday life, including revealing on air late last year that she and her husband have separated. As Leisel tells host Sarrah Le Marquand about going public with her divorce: “Imagine if someone saw that I was on Bumble and they were like, ‘Hang on, aren’t you married?’”

Listen to The Rush Hour with Leisel Jones, Liam & Dobbo weekdays from 4-6pm on Triple M Brisbane.

Find more from Stellar via Instagram @stellarmag or pick up a copy inside The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Sunday Mail (QLD) and Sunday Mail (SA)

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