From the moment I am born, I am like no-one else around me. I am a fish out of water. Even in the pool.

For the first time, Leisel candidly describes what it's like to be thrust into the limelight so young in her memoir, Body Lengths. She 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 planned to take her own life. In London, criticised in 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.

Body Lengths is the inspiring story of an Australian sporting hero, told with humour, optimism and style.


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
A compelling and thought-provoking story, Leisel’s honesty is remarkably heroic and poignant
— Layne Beachley AO
Lethal Leisel was an incredible role model and an inspiration for my generation. She epitomises the Olympic dream!
— Sally Fitzgibbons
...brilliant, fascinating read, even if you have no interest in swimming. There are no boring bits at all, again, rare for a sports autobiography. Thoroughly recommended.
— Coolhand - Amazon