Personality Profile – Nathan Rennie

Nathan Rennie KM
Nathan Rennie KM

Cycling has been part of Nathan Rennie’s life since he was a child, but it was a friendship formed when he was twelve years old that led him to become a World Champion downhill mountain biker and five time Australian Champion.

Nathan grew up in a small town in the Blue Mountains, New South Wales, where he played soccer, basketball, softball and enjoyed cycling from when he was five years of age.

“I revolved myself around sports for pretty much the entirety of my upbringing,” he says.

“When I was about 12, I had a friend, Chris Spencer, who raced in the cross country class in mountain biking.  He rode past my house every day.  He had his cool bike and I had my little bike.  I rode that bike once just for fun and I thought ‘this is different to my bike’.” 

“Chris could see I had a bit of natural ability and eventually I got a bike together, entered my first race and I won!”

Nathan was encouraged to enter more events and with the help of friends and family began competing frequently.

At the age of 15 he won a big event in the open class in Canberra and at 16 he entered his first World Championships.

He saved his prizemoney and went to race in California with Chris Kovarik.

For six months they shared a room and raced together.

Nathan had saved hard and had enough to get him through, but he soon realised that Chris would struggle financially while they were in the US.

The two boys formed a strong friendship that remains today, with Nathan helping Chris financially and both of them encouraging each other.

“I knew I needed somebody with me for both of us to achieve our goals.  I barely knew him at that stage but I knew we both had good results at home, but this was different.”

“We were literally going from race to race but we were still there.”

Chris came second in the World Cup race to world number one at the time, Nicholas Voyer, and went on to become an Australian and World Champion.

Nathan continued his career, winning the Junior Downhill World Championships in 1999 and bronze in the Elite category in 2006. 

He was a professional athlete for over 10 years and in 2020, he was inducted into the Mountain Bike Hall of Fame.

Today, Nathan uses the knowledge and motivation that made him a World Champion to mentor and coach other athletes through his business, Nathan Rennie’s Victory Lab.

He says a lot of people going into a sporting career have success but don’t really know what to do.

“You need to present yourself and realise that there is a formula and a structure you need to follow to become a professional athlete.”

“That stepping stone of turning it into a career is a whole different thing and having a plan afterwards is a different ball game.”

“Having an exit plan is important.”

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About Keer Moriarty 471 Articles
Small town newspaper Editor, journo, social media manager and tea lady.