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Curry Kenny, Lisa (1962 - )

MBE, OAM

Born
15 May 1962
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
Occupation
Commonwealth or Empire Games Gold Medalist, Swimmer, Olympian and Businesswoman
Alternative Names
  • Curry, Lisa

Summary

Lisa Curry Kenny, the winner of 15 gold, 7 silver and 8 bronze International medals, is the only Australian swimmer to have held Commonwealth and Australian records in every stroke except backstroke. She competed in three Olympics; Moscow in 1980, Los Angeles in 1984 and Barcelona in 1992. She is now one of Australia's successful keynote motivational speakers and is a Director of Curry Kenny Group Pty Ltd.

Details

Lisa Curry, the daughter of Roy and Pat Curry, grew up in Brisbane, and by the age of twelve was one of the fastest swimmers of her age in the world. Harry Gallagher coached her. Although she did not excel at school and claims that she was not a natural athlete, she succeeded through a combination of commitment and good organisation. At the age of fifteen she was ranked number five in the world for the 100 metre breaststroke. From 1977 to 1992 she won 15 National Long Course Open Titles and competed in two world championships; in Berlin in 1978 and Guayaquil, Ecuador in 1982. She competed in three Commonwealth Games; in Edmonton in 1978, when she won a silver medal; in Brisbane in 1982 when she won three gold and a bronze and in Auckland in 1990, when she won four gold and one silver. She competed in the Moscow (1980), Los Angeles (1984), and the Barcelona (1992) Olympics.

Her awards included the Confederation of Australian Sport gold trophy for female athlete of the year 1982 and Queensland sportswoman of the year 1983-1984.

She married Grant Kenny, ironman and olympian, in 1986 and had three children, Jaimi, Morgan and Jett.

On retirement from swimming after the Barcelona Olympics, Curry Kenny took up other sporting pursuits and has competed in surf boat rowing competitions and in championship outrigger canoe events. Her team won the Queensland Surf Life Saving Championship in 1996 and the World Championship Outrigger Canoe event in 1997. She has been a member of the Panamuna Outrigger Canoe Club for more than ten years.

Her successful swimming career and outgoing personality equipped her to work as a presenter for the Channel Nine Wide World of Sport program and to promote Queensland as a tourist destination for the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation. She has been associated with Uncle Tobys products since 1983 and has appeared in television commercials promoting their muesli bars. She is spokesperson for Fernwood Fitness Centre, a large chain of Australian fitness and health clubs catering for women. She also supports World Vision and assists orphaned children in Romania.

Curry Kenny is the author of a series of fitness books which include Lisa Curry's Total Health and Fitness, Lisa Curry's Pregnancy and Fitness, Lisa Curry's Health and Fitness, Get Up and Go, Fit Kids, and Mini Get Up and Go.

She is a director of the Curry Kenny Group Pty Ltd with her husband, and travels around Australia giving motivational talks at national and international company conferences. In addition, she is chairman of the National Australia Day Council, Ambassador to the Office of the Status of Women - Honouring Women program and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Encouragement of Philanthropy in Australia.

Events

1982
Gold Medalist at Brisbane Commonwealth Games - Swimming - 100m Butterfly, 200m and 400m Individual Medley
1990
Gold Medalist at Auckland Commonwealth Games - Swimming - 50m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly, 4 x 100m Freestyle Relay, 4 x 100 m Medley Relay

Sources used to compile this entry: Debrett's handbook of Australia, 4th edn, Debrett's peerage ( Australasia), South Perth, WA, 1989; Contemporary Australians 1995/96, Reed Reference Australia, Port Melbourne, Victoria, 1995; 'Curry Kenny Lisa; OAM, MBE; Managing Director, Curry Kenny Pty Limited; Motivational Speaker', in Margaret Herd (ed.), Who's Who in Australia, 2002, 38th edn, Crown Content, Melbourne, 2002, p. 517.

Rosemary Francis

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