The earliest evidence of people seeking food in the sea was found on what is now southern Sweden, dating back to about 7440 years ago. According to this, a Stone Age tribe is said to have been fed mainly by marine animals, after which it was necessary to dive. Was dipped for a long time only to get food, then came later still other aspects added.

According to a Greek legend, there was a fisherman who, together with his daughter, at the time of the Greco-Persian wars, capped the entire anchor lines of the Persian fleet, thus contributing to the victory.

Already at the 1900 Olympic Games in Paris, there was a competition in the route diving, which won a Frenchman with 60 meters in less than a minute.

Freediving is always associated with hunting for fish, especially in the Mediterranean. Spearfishing without a diving device has a long tradition in all Mediterranean countries. And is still an integral part of life there and also recognized as a sport.

The birth of the "modern" free diving is dated to 1949. Raimondo Bucher dived for a bet at that time on 30 meters and thus justified - wanted or unwanted - a new sport.

In 1962 Enzo Maiorca entered the freediving stage. He proved with his 50 meter dive that contrary to the fear of the doctors, the human lung at this depth did not collapse.

In 1966 it was Jacques Mayol, who became the sharpest challenger of Maiorca. He introduced breathing and relaxation techniques into the diving scene that are still considered the key to achieving great depths. The 100-meter mark was breached for the first time in 1976 by Mayol.

In 1988, the duel between the two with the cult film "The big blue" was a monument.

In 1990, two new protagonists took the stage: the Italian Umberto Pelizzari and the Cuban Francisco Rodriguez, who drove each other to ever more extreme depths.

Also in the early 1990s, the AIDA was founded (Association Internationale pour le Development de l'Apnée), which deals with competition law and the training of freedivers.

Today, Herbert Nitsch from Austria, Natalia Molchanova from Russia and William Trubridge are on the long list of record holders.

In addition to the classical disciplines, extraordinary competitions are also invented. For example, the Austrian Christian Redl can be found diving through caves or deep dives under ice in the Guiness Book of Records.

Free diving is on the rise again today - as part of the wellness movement.

 

THE APNEA STORY

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