Laurie starting swimming competitively at the age of 12. In High School, she was CIF champion (Southern Section) in the 200 and 500 freestyle. In college, she competed for USC, where she was the first female swimmer to become a 3-time All-America for the school. She has been teaching swimming lessons to young children and adults since 1974, and she continues to swim regularly with the Los Angeles Peninsula Swimmers in Torrance.
Laurie has 3 children, who all swam competitively and played water polo in high school. Every summer, her family enjoys swimming the Dwight Crum Pier-to-Pier 2-mile swim. She is now an empty-nester, except for her 2 year old Australia Sheppard that might as well be another child.