Body Lengths by Leisel Jones, Felicity McLean | Black Inc.

Body Lengths

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About the author

Leisel Jones

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 at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, and in 2015 was inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame.

More about Leisel Jones

Felicity McLean

Felicity McLean is a journalist and the author of several books for adults. She won the ABIA ‘Reader’s Choice’ for Small Publisher Adult Book of the Year, and Apple iBook’s ‘Best Biography′ for Body Lengths, co-written with Olympian …

More about Felicity McLean

Praise for Body Lengths

‘A compelling and thought-provoking story. Leisel’s honesty is heroic and poignant.’ —Layne Beachley

‘Lethal Leisel was an incredible role model and an inspiration for my generation. She epitomises the Olympic dream!’ —Sally Fitzgibbons


‘There were times when it wasn’t easy for Leisel, but she came through as one of the greatest swimmers of all time.’ —Ray Warren 

‘Gripping, confronting and important, Body Lengths is a masterfully told story that will leave you with a disturbing new look at elite sport and at life. If you are not afraid of dark places – of seeing the flaws that exist in us all – you won’t be able to put the book down.’ —Crossing the Line


‘Leisel gives a fascinating and candid account of her time as an elite swimmer and what it was like to be thrust into the limelight at such a young age She writes engagingly of the personal high and low points, the relationships and friendships, and the huge demands of maintaining her fitness and training over the years.’ —The City


‘Swimming, success and sadness - all wrapped up in the bio of one of our greatest athletes.’ —Cosmopolitan


‘Gold, silver and blues’ —Herald Sun

‘Many autobiographies claim to be no holds barred, but we’re pressed to think of many that are as searingly honest as Leisel Jones’ account of her struggles with isolation and suicidal anguish. One of Australia’s greatest Olympic swimmers is known to the world for her sunny public persona and athletic grit, but outside of the pool and limelight, her path hasn’t been easy. Body Lengths exposes some of the darker aspects of competitive sport, but what stuck with us was Jones’ courage to speak her truth – as well as her disarming humility and passion.’ —iBooks, Best Books of October

Teachers' Resources


Persistence; Competitiveness; Identity; Pressure; Body image; Mental Health; Inner strength; Bullying

Reading age

Grades 9-12

For the first time, Leisel Jones candidly describes what it's like to be thrust into the limelight at such a young age. Body Lengths is the inspiring story of an Australian sporting hero, told with optimism.


  Teaching notes

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