Freediving: Netflix Emmy + Olympic flame

The Deepest Breath (Netflix)
The Deepest Breath (Netflix)

Last Updated on May 24, 2024 by Steve Weinman

In two developments nudging freediving that bit closer to the world of mainstream sports, a Netflix documentary about a world record-breaker has won an Emmy award, while a Frenchman has become the first freediver selected to carry an Olympic torch. 

Irish film-maker Laura McGann directed the film The Deepest Breath about celebrated Italian freediver Alessia Zecchini and her safety diver Stephen Keenan, and McGann and her team have now been rewarded with one of world cinema’s highest accolades in the form of the Sports Emmy for Outstanding Long Documentary. 

Laura McGann, director of Netflix hit The Deepest Breath
Laura McGann, director of Netflix hit The Deepest Breath

The award, conferred by the USA’s National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, was presented at a ceremony in New York on 21 May.

“Massive privilege to have had the opportunity to make this film,” commented McGann. “To work with the best in the world and meet the most incredible freedivers and their families. Thanks for the Emmy! This is for Stephen.”

The Deepest Breath, a surprise Netflix hit from mid-2023, was a co-production between A24, Motive Films and Ventureland. It was reviewed on Divernet last July.

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The Deepest Breath was not the only recent freediving film to make a splash on the global streaming service. In April a defamation lawsuit against Netflix was thrown out after US-Cuban freediver Francisco ‘Pipin’ Ferreras had claimed that its 2022 film No Limit falsely accused him of the murder of his wife Audrey Mestre during an ultra-deep world record depth attempt.

Although the film had been acknowledged to have been inspired by real events, Pipin was unable to prove his case.

Jerald holds the flame

Meanwhile leading French freediver Arnaud Jerald has said he was honoured to have been asked to carry the Olympic flame through his home town of Marseille on 9 May, during its relay journey to the capital for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games.  

Arnaud Jerald hopes to see freediving accepted again as an Olympic sport
Arnaud Jerald hopes to see freediving accepted as an Olympic sport – again

“Today I became the first freediver in history to hold the Olympic torch – a day filled with honour, pride and a deep connection to my roots,” said Jerald. “I have good hopes for freediving to become an Olympic discipline.”

Jerald is currently French number one and world number two in the Constant Weight with Bifins (CTWB) discipline (122m). He and current world record holder Alexey Molchanov (123m) have been vying for the record for the past five years – in 2019 it stood at 108m.

Jerald has pointed out that freediving was represented at the Olympic Games as long as 124 years ago. At the 1900 Paris Games “underwater swimming”, or dynamic apnea, saw a point awarded for each second a competitor spent submerged and two points for each metre swum. French athletes won gold and silver.

Also on Divernet: New on Netflix: The Deepest Breath, Pipin v Netflix: Freediver’s lawsuit thrown out, 20 titles for divers streaming on Netflix, Freediver dies at Dahab’s Blue Hole

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#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

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@jaketarren
#askmark, Heyo! Longtime listener, first time caller, etc. Went with a BP/W for my first set and I'm having a really hard time keeping the power inflator on my shoulder; the corrugated hose keeps flipping off my shoulder and getting twisted up or just ending up behind the backplate and dangling down the back of the wing. Is there something I can add to my harness to keep it in place? I don't want to tie it to the D ring since I wouldn't be able to lift it to deflate. I'm using the cheap DGX Gears wing for reference. Thanks!

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How Do You Keep Your Corrugated BCD Hose in Place? #askmark

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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
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The information in this video is not intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional SCUBA Training. All content, including text, graphics, images, and information, contained in this video is for general information purposes only and does not replace training from a qualified Dive Instructor.
00:00 Introduction
01:17 Ears
05:13 Scuba.com
06:05 Hydrate
08:12 Clean

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