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Australia Now Has A Champion In A Job So Nuts, You Might Not Believe It

Meet Rhiannan Iffland, World Champion Aussie cliff diver.

20/10/2016 3:22 PM AEDT | Updated 30/10/2016 7:54 AM AEDT
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Wheeeee! This is Iffland diving off the famous Mostar Bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Rhiannan Iffland has a more dangerous life than you do, and -- no offence -- probably a more exciting one too. She dives off cliffs for a living. Which is nice work if you can get it. Well, as long as you land safely.

She's also Australia's newest international cliff diving champion after blitzing her opponents in five of seven events in the final of the Red Bull World Series in Dubai on Saturday.

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Rhiannan (r) has plenty of love for fellow Aussie Helen Merten, who sits third in the cliff diving world series.

Iffland, 25, is an Aussie from Nords Wharf, a small suburb on the the shores of Lake Macquarie, which is where the NSW Central Coast more or less turns into Newcastle. She grew up trampolining, then turned to diving.

Though she trained alongside the like of Matthew Mitcham, Iffland wasn't quite good enough to make the Olympics. So she took up the much gnarlier, much scarier version of the sport. Cliff diving. Up to 28m of terror with a water entry speed of 75 km/h. Eek.

Iffland secured a wild card entry into the Red Bull cliff diving world series earlier this year. Guess what happened next? She started dominating, that's what.

When the Huffington Post Australia spoke to Iffland just over a week ago, she had won the first event in Texas, making it four of six events that she had left victorious.

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It's amazing how all those divers avoid crashing into each other.

Read on for the interview HuffPost Australia had with Iffland where she suffered her way through the ridiculous opening question we've been asking people all year.

Ant: Hi Rhiannan. So we've been asking people this all year for reasons which are unclear even to us. Anyway here goes. Who would win a fight between a kangaroo and an emu?
Rhiannan: I'm going to say a kangaroo for sure, it would have superior speed and strength.

Ant: Hmmm, what about a diving competition between a kangaroo and an emu?
Rhiannan: I'd have to go with the kangaroo again. It's got a bit more coordination and strength than an emu.

Ant: I understand you used to perform as a diver on cruise ships. I take it we're not talking over the edge of the ship.
Rhiannan: No! I was an acrobat on a cruise ship. I used to do two main shows. One was mainly diving and a bit of trampoline and the other was a Madagascar themed children's show with a lot of dancing. I used to dress up as a gazelle.

Ant: Did you have to jump on the trampoline dressed up as a gazelle?
Rhiannan: I did.

Ant: Hey, we all do weird stuff in our lives to pay the bills.
Rhiannan: It was great. I was travelling at the same time, and had three days off each week to explore the Caribbean and do island visits.

Ant: OK, and with your crazy days as a gazelle jumping on trampolines in the Caribbean behind you, you've now settled into a nice sensible job as a cliff diver.
Rhiannan: Well, it feels pretty silly at times standing up at those heights, but I'm really enjoying it.

Ant: What goes through your mind when you're out there on the platform?
Rhiannan: Before I take off, when I'm standing on the edge of the platform, I'm just thinking about the start of the dive and what I'm about to do. As I'm taking off, I just think '123, takeoff' and then the muscle memory takes over. But I can tell you there is a moment when I look down and say 'what am I about to do?'. But if I wasn't nervous I would be crazy.

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Just another day in the office.

Ant: Does it hurt when you land?
Rhiannan: Sometimes. It's really funny and unpredictable. Sometimes you hit perfectly straight and yet it hurts more than if you're over or short. I did a dive recently in japan and went into the water completely straight, but I didn't have mouth closed properly and my teeth hit.

Ant: Ouch. And they kind of slammed together?
Rhiannan: Yeah, we slow down within a second of impact, so the impact is always very, very hard,

Ant: Important question. Dived or dove?
Rhiannan: This is a question that I've debated with with a few people. I say both.

NOTE: We just googled this. The deal is that "dived" was traditionally correct, but "dove" has sort of muscled its way into accepted UK, American and Australian English -- just like the word drove.

Ant: Another important question. Do you like the Fleetwood Mac song Rhiannon?
Rhiannan: I absolutely love that song, I'm not going to lie, even though her name is spelled wrong.

Ant: Hey I nearly forgot to ask. As a traditional diver, you enter the water arms and head first. Now it's feet first. Was it difficult learning to do things the other way around?
Rhiannan: For me, I found the transition quite easy because as a trampolinist I was always feet first. They used to call me the cat because anytime I got lost in the air I would always find my feet.

Ant: And you've found your feet, so to speak, in this new sport, haven't you.
Rhiannan: I have. A lot of things have changed for me this year. I went in with a wildcard expecting to do one event and now here I am walking into the final in first position with quite a lead. It feels good walking in without as much pressure.

Ant: I bet. Thanks for talking to The Huffington Post Australia, Rhiannan, and best of luck next weekend.
Rhiannan: Thanks!

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She's climbing the ladder of success.

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