Jaimi Kenny death: Touching tribute from Lisa Curry's fierce swimming rival

Of all the touching tributes to Jaimi Kenny in the wake of her tragic death, one of the most poignant came from her mother's biggest swimming rival whose daughter also died too young.

Lisa Curry and Tracey Wickham were Australia's golden girls of the pool during the 1980s, winning more than 20 international swimming gold medals between them.

But while celebrated by the nation and cheered on in unison in the pool, the pair were far from friends.

Famously in the lead up to the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, Lisa belittled her rival by slow clapping her as she walked out on to the pool deck. 

Yet when Lisa and her fellow sporting champion ex-husband Grant Kenny released a statement about Jaimi's death at just 33, Wickham was among the first to pay tribute.

Having lost her own daughter Hannah to cancer at just 19 in 2007, Wickham told her grieving one-time swimming rival: 'I can't believe we both have lost our beloved daughters'.

Olympic swimmer Lisa (right) and her Ironman ex-husband Grant Kenny released a statement on Monday informing the public about the death of their eldest daughter Jaimi (left) at age 33

Olympic swimmer Lisa (right) and her Ironman ex-husband Grant Kenny released a statement on Monday informing the public about the death of their eldest daughter Jaimi (left) at age 33

Lisa's former swimming rival Tracey Wickham has paid an emotional tribute in the wake of her daughter Jaimi's death on Monday. Wickham lost her own daughter Hannah at age 19 to cancer in 2007 (She is pictured posing next to a photo of her daughter at the launch of the Hannah's Chance Foundation in 2008)

Lisa's former swimming rival Tracey Wickham has paid an emotional tribute in the wake of her daughter Jaimi's death on Monday. Wickham lost her own daughter Hannah at age 19 to cancer in 2007 (She is pictured posing next to a photo of her daughter at the launch of the Hannah's Chance Foundation in 2008)

Tributes have flowed for Jaimi from her friends, family and celebrity friends of her parents

Hannah Ciobo was just a teenager when she was diagnosed with cynovial cancer in 2004 and bravely battled the rare disease for three years

Jaimi Kenny (left), the daughter of Lisa Curry, and Hannah Ciobo (right), the daughter of fellow Australian swimming star Tracey Wickham, both passed away after long battles with illness

Wickham told her grieving one-time swimming rival: 'I can't believe we both have lost our beloved daughters'

Wickham told her grieving one-time swimming rival: 'I can't believe we both have lost our beloved daughters'

'Lisa, my heart breaks for you and your family,' Wickham posted on Lisa's Instagram.

'It's a tragic time when losing a child. I can't believe we both have lost our beloved daughters.

'God bless you and hoping everyone holds you tight. Big hugs... much love. Tracey.'

Hannah Ciobo was just a teenager when she was diagnosed with synovial cancer in 2004 and bravely battled the rare disease for three years.

Just hours before her death she married 'soulmate' Tom O'Driscoll from her hospital bed.

The pair had met in hospital where he too was fighting cancer. 

At Hannah's funeral her mother - the former world record holder in the 400m, 800m and 1500m swimming events - described her daughter as her 'rock'. 

'When I first laid eyes on my newborn baby girl, the love for Hannah was overwhelming,' Wickham said.

'A full head of dark, curly hair - an absolute stunner from day one. 

'She was my teacher and she was my rock.

'She knew how to light up the room, she only had to smile to do that.'

Wickham previously told how when she was 19 - the same age her daughter died at - she and Curry were involved in a poolside spat.

Wickham (left) and Curry (centre) show off their medals after the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, where both were Australia's golden girls of the pool

Wickham (left) and Curry (centre) show off their medals after the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, where both were Australia's golden girls of the pool

Wickham is pictured with her daughter Hannah (right) and son Daniel (left) in 2001 after a thief broke into their family home and stole three of her international gold medals

Wickham is pictured with her daughter Hannah (right) and son Daniel (left) in 2001 after a thief broke into their family home and stole three of her international gold medals

A shattered Wickham is helped out of the funeral service for her daughter Hannah in 2007. Just hours before her death Hannah had married her 'soulmate' Tom O'Driscoll, who she met while he was also undergoing treatment for cancer

A shattered Wickham is helped out of the funeral service for her daughter Hannah in 2007. Just hours before her death Hannah had married her 'soulmate' Tom O'Driscoll, who she met while he was also undergoing treatment for cancer

Wickham (left) held the world records in the 400m, 800m and 1500m swimming events

Wickham (left) held the world records in the 400m, 800m and 1500m swimming events

At the Queensland state titles ahead of the 1982 Commonwealth Games in Brisbane, she took on Curry at her opponent's pet distance having rested from all other events.

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