On March 16th, in the Zmeinaya Bay (or Zmeinka), which is located on the Western shore of Lake Baikal, the famous freediver, ambassador of Lake Baikal Foundation Alexey Molchanov set a new Guinness World Record: the athlete dived to the 80 meter depth underneath the Baikal ice. A new record became the 20th in the bag of 14-time world champion and president of Freediving Federation. Currently, Alexey also holds the world record for diving in warm waters, namely, 130 meters in monofin which he set on July 18th, 2018, in the Bahamas at Vertical Blue World competition. And earlier in the summer, he set another Guinness World Record by swimming 180 meters underwater in monofin in the Amerievsky dolomite quarry.
According to the record organizers, under-ice diving is one of the most difficult freediving disciplines. Every year, they receive thousands of applications from titled athletes, but only a few in the world are ready to try themselves in under-ice diving, since most prefer pool disciplines. They explain this circumstance by the fact that the training of most freedivers is based on complete deconcentration of attention and relaxation, which is especially difficult in icy water. The cold factor stimulates the body and doesn’t not allow for the desired effect and in addition, there is also a psychological pressure: the athlete doesn’t have an opportunity to surface at any time: you need to dive to the desired depth, and there is only one specific point free of ice on the surface.
«For me freediving, is not just a job or a hobby, but a life work, and I am glad to have this new opportunity to tell as large an audience as possible about this amazing sport. This is not even just a sport, but a way to manage your psychological state, so even if you don’t plan to set records, the basic training will change a lot in your life. I would like to dedicate a new record to this awesome place where we are now. Baikal is a unique natural phenomenon and a living organism that is important to preserve for future generations», said Alexey Molchanov after record setting.
Alexey Molchanov also talked about a series of projects planned in this area with both the local administration and Lake Baikal Foundation in continuing of the recent announcement about their cooperation. As the official ambassador of the Foundation, Alexey shared plans for collaborative educational events, fundraising in favor of sustainable environmental initiatives, development of a dialogue with foreign colleagues interested in reducing their water footprint and development of charity in the environment.