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Nathan Haas: In another life

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Academic, politician, ballet dancer. Had he not discovered he had the legs for cycling, things might have turned out very differently for Nathan Haas…

Photographs: Benedict Campbell
Nathan Haas

 


Crocodile Dundee did no favours for the image of Australians. Australia has come a long way and a lot further than most people who haven’t been there for a long time would give it credit for. There are some very open-minded areas to the country and, much like anywhere, some very closed-minded areas.

 

I’m a handful of subjects away from finishing a bachelor of arts in socio-legal philosophy at the University of Sydney. Some people call it the poor man’s law degree. It’s the philosophy behind policy making, so when you are looking at laws being written or debated, you are looking from an anthropological, sociological and legal background as to who it would affect – what the repercussions are. It is also about learning to write policy, not just come up with ideas.

 

Nathan Haas Q&A: For the love of cycling

 

I was always really into politics in Australia – I was a member of the Young Labor party and used to campaign for them. Coming from Canberra, I saw myself going into public service there somehow. That was always my dream when I was at university. But my legs took over and I became a cyclist. You only have so much bandwidth when you are exhausted from cycling every day.

 

A lot of physios have told me I am in the wrong business, and I should be a ballet dancer like my mum. All of the flexibility that you need has fallen into my feet. I have perfect turn-out. Every dancer I have met says they wish they had my feet. I don’t know if that’s genetics or just good luck. But as a cyclist, it’s a complete pain in the arse, because when you have hypermobile joints, stability is an issue.

 

This article was originally published in Rouleur 18.2