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One Breath: The Sport of Freediving

Posted: February 2, 2016 at 11:26 am by , in Featured, Morning Magazine

The competitive sport of free diving has been relatively obscure.  It involves diving as far as possible on a single breath. In 2013, tragedy struck at a major competitive event when one of its rising stars died after a dive. Adam Skolnick has written about that in his new book: One Breath: Freediving, death and the quest to shatter human limits.

Skolnick says freediving consists of everything from kids holding their breath underwater to scuba diving, and he says, it’s something humans have always done.  “Freediving is something that humans have been doing for millennia…we have spear fishermen, pearl divers and sponge divers.  Even in ancient Rome they had warriors…early navy SEALS teams, setting up barricades for ships that were going to come in and conquer the coast line.”  Competitive freediving has exploded in popularity in recent years with competitors pushing themselves to the limits. One of the disciplines is static apnea, face down in a pool “the world record is 11 mins and 54 seconds.”  Skolnick writes about another freediving discipline which sees competitors going to unimaginable depths on a single breath. “They go deeper on one breath than even scuba divers can go, deeper than even most technical drivers will ever go.  The record is 128 meters, almost 500 feet.”

In 2013, rising freediving star Nick Mevoli, died after competing at the Vertical Blue spot in the Bahamas. His death brought to light the dangers of this sport.

 

Skolnick will speak about his book Tuesday February 2nd at 7.30pm at the Boulder Bookstore.