Former Olympic swimmer Lisa Curry has been open about the fact that her family is her first priority.

The 58 year old has revealed that she had a troubled upbringing as her father was absent from her incredible 23-year career.

The former Ironwoman explained that her mother Pat left her “domestically violent” father Roy when Lisa was 15.

This means that she knew little about her paternal heritage when she appeared on SBS Who Do You Think You Are.

“You think you know your parents until you actually hear their story. Sadly I didn't know a lot about it and that's why the show for me was so exciting,” Lisa told Now To Love. 

Lisa also reflected on her father not being there for her successes.

“My dad didn't see a lot of my career firsthand, to me at the time it didn't really bother me too much.

But, when you look back at it, you think, 'Oh gee, it would have been nice for him to share in those successes.”

It’s had a massive impact on the way that Lisa looks after her children, Jett, Jaimi Lee and Morgan, who she co-parents with Grant.

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“I think because of that though, Grant and I as parents, we always said we will always be there for all our kids, for everything that they do.

“Every success, every failure, every try, everything it didn't matter. Just being there and being proud is really important as parents.”

In a preview of Lisa’s episode of Who Do You Think You Are? on SBS, Lisa explained that how her and her siblings saw “fights” between her parents as well as the “bruises” on her mother Pat.

“There was quite a few years where we had pretty horrific domestic violence in our household,” Lisa revealed in the episode, to be aired on June 9.

“As children we would witness the fights and Dad hitting Mum, and the bruises. Mum always said, ‘I've got three kids and a grand piano… where am I going to go?’ She couldn't leave,” she continued.

Lisa’s mum Pat eventually did leave and divorced Roy when Lisa was 15 years old, but it still has an impact on her, according to Lisa.

“I do see my mum suffer still. She is 85 and still sees a psychologist. I know it (domestic violence) affects people for a long, long time.”

This article originally appeared on Over60.