< back
Rhiannan IFFLAND
Sport Diving, High Diving
NOC Australia   
GenderWomen
Born09 Sep 1991 in Newcastle, AUS
Height1.67 m
 Human Interest 
Further Personal Information
Occupation
Athlete
Languages
English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport?
She was involved in trampoline gymnastics before switching to diving at age nine, when she started training with coach Eric Brooker in Lambton, NSW, Australia. She focused on diving from 2001 to 2006 with the New South Wales Institute of Sport [NSWIS] in Australia, before she switched to high diving. "When I was training in Sydney with NSWIS, I did a couple of junior competitions for the Australian team and a few nationals. But I think it all got a bit too repetitive for me. The enjoyment just kind of fell out of it, as can happen as you grow up. I actually learned to high dive at a theme park in Lyon, France."
Why this sport?
She was inspired by the high divers on Royal Caribbean International cruise ships, which she worked on for three years as a performance diver after high school. "Of course, it felt like a big holiday. I saw the high divers in my show were diving 17 metres. I kind of thought to myself, 'Wow, I want to do that'. When I first started high diving, I obviously heard about the Red Bull cliff diving [World Series] and I was attracted to it straight away. It just looked so amazing, the places they get to dive from and the travel, the athletes and everything about it."
General Interest
Nicknames
Rhi (redbull.com, 14 Sep 2019)
Hobbies
Travelling, surfing. (Instagram profile, 10 Nov 2020; redbull.com, 14 Sep 2019)
Injuries
In 2017 she suffered a knee injury during a warm-up dive at the Cliff Diving World Series event in Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina, and was forced to miss the competition. (wwos.nine.com.au, 14 Sep 2019)
Sporting philosophy / motto
"I definitely think it's something that has to be worked up to. You couldn't just go from 10 metres to 20 metres in one day. I started diving 14 metres, then 16 metres, then 18 metres and eventually worked my way up to 20. It's just a matter of doing it hundreds of times and then it just comes naturally." (newcastleherald.com.au, 24 Jun 2016)
Other sports
She has also competed in diving at national level in Australia. (newcastleherald.com.au, 24 Jun 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 11 Nov 2020)
Milestones
She became the first Australian high diver to win a medal at the world championships, when she claimed gold at the 2017 edition of the tournament in Budapest, Hungary. (SportsDeskOnline, 11 Nov 2020)

She became the first female high diver to win three and four overall Cliff Diving World Series titles, after she was victorious in the 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019 editions of the series. (cliffdiving.redbull.com, 24 Aug 2019)
Other information
WORLD SERIES WILD CARD
She won her first ever Cliff Diving World Series event in 2016 as a wild card at Possum Kingdom Lake, TX, United States of America. "I just sent a video and I was working with some of the athletes who were competing on the circuit and they recommended me. I wasn't sure until four weeks prior to the competition when they told me they had a spot for me. So I had to train up in those four weeks. I trained really hard. I was just training 10 metres, really. A couple of places we were at, I was able to train 16 metres. I didn't really have much training from 20 metres. I just really had to make the most of the two official training days we had prior to the competition." She went on to win the overall World Series title in 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019. (cliffdiving.redbull.com, 14 Sep 2019; wwos.nine.com.au, 14 Sep 2019)

HOT AIR BALLOON DIVE
In May 2021 she became the first person to perform a dive from a moving hot air balloon. After a year of planning, she completed the feat at Lostock Dam in the Hunter Region of New South Wales, Australia, diving from a height of 18 metres. "I chose Lostock Dam because it's one of my favourite areas and I wanted to visit a location that had been impacted by the bushfires. It was such a poignant moment, seeing the region from a new point of view high up in the sky. There was a lot of thoughts going through my mind. I was just trying to enjoy the ride, take everything in, but there wasn't much room for error in this dive. I really had to be switched on and get the timing right. It feels so surreal. I've been dreaming about attempting world-first challenges ever since I started diving 20 years ago. It was so different to what I'm used to doing, mainly because the balloon was moving." (redbull.com, 12 May 2021; womenshealth.com.au, 19 May 2021)

GENDER EQUALITY
She praised the decision to begin awarding equal prize money to men and women on the Cliff Diving World Series. The change was planned to come into effect in 2020, but the 2020 World Series was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic. "This is beyond amazing. We have seen other sports going that direction where they have closed the pay gap between men and women. For us to introduce that this year [2020] is so exciting, and it feels so empowering already to be a woman in an extreme sport and now to be equal with the men is something very, very fantastic. For me it's not about the money, it's about having that recognition and having the same exposure and feeling just as powerful as the men." (newcastleherald.com.au, 31 Mar 2020)

 Competition Highlights
There are no major results available for this athlete.