What does it take to be a competitive freediver?
– if you miss an equalisation you have to turn. When I reach the
The freediving I do is very physical. In the constant weight with
bottom, I have done 0 per cent of the work. The hardest part is
without fins you are swimming breaststroke. To go down you need
to come back – it’s very long. While I know diving is very serious,
your mind, to come back you need your body. The mental aspect is
I always think about what makes me smile on my way up. My
very important. That’s why unlike most sports, freediving athletes
four-year-old son has watched Finding Nemo 20 times, so I know
tend to be older.
it very well. There is a part in it where Nemo’s father and dory are
swimming. dory is singing the song ‘Just keep swimming, just keep
How do you prepare yourself for competitions?
swimming’. I sing this to myself as I ascend as it really makes me
From November to April, I work in the pool and the gym for
aerobic work, building up the muscle. I also do a lot of yoga to keep
Do you think your son Lorenzo will be a freediver
From April to May, I work less in the gym and more and more in the like his father?
water on static apnea (non-swimming breath hold underwater). he was in the water 29 days after he was born. Now he is a natural.
Then I start going into the sea. In freediving you have to enjoy what The other day he dived down to m to catch a mask. For him
you do. equalising is a natural instinct. For children everything is so natural.
In July and August I stop with the gym and work only in the sea in When teaching yoga, I started looking at how babies do everything.
sharm at the only one Apnea centre. A few dives a day, such as a They breathe properly, they bend down with straight backs, and
warm up and a deep one. they are extremely flexible. When you are an adult you lose this. I
How did you feel when you broke the national
believe freediving and yoga brings you back to this and switches on
your nature again.
I am very proud of the record, but perhaps more proud about the
Favourite marine creature?
way I did it. In freediving you need to grow up slowly to get good
I love sharks and manta rays, but the octopus is my favourite
results. I have never had a black-out. I never push my limits.
marine creature. It adjusts to its environment. It can go anywhere
When I saw World champion freediver Martin stepanek break 120m
and change its form – much like when we are in the sea, we have to
in competition in the constant weight it opened a new window for
adapt to the environment. It’s the sea that makes all the rules and
me. until that point, I had only reached 90m. After that moment,
we have to respect and adapt to those.
however, I started to think it was easy to go to 100m. What’s next for you?
It is important not to lose yourself in the competition of the sport. In The world record is a dream, but as I said, freediving is not a fast
200 I made the mistake of focusing only on my depth and I started discipline. I will not be at the championships in the Bahamas, but
to lose the enjoyment. You have to freedive because you enjoy the I am focused on the world championships in Japan next summer.
sea and feel part of it. None if it, however, would be possible without my sponsors:
This year was wonderful. The sea was with me all the camel dive club, Imperial Bulldog, Benti sub, Freestyle
way. company and Ts lenti a contatto. I have to thank everyone
What goes through your head when
who has helped and supported me, particularly my very
you are competing?
When I go down I only think about how to
equalise. After 50m you can’t make any mistake
Issue october / November 2009 www.cdws.travel
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