Goran Colak is a Croatian freediver and he holds the Guinness world record in static apnea on pure oxygen (timed breath hold) – translation: holding your breath under water.
Colak set the world record of 23 minutes and 1 second at a freediving event in the waters off the island of Vir, Croatia on 20 june 2014. Colak said at the time:
“The physical demands are not that big, it is more difficult psychologically to endure. How far can I go? Honestly, I’m not even close to that line. This is a really great feeling. It was simultaneously nice and challenging to do it in front of such a big crowd and live on TV and internet.”
Goran was inspired to become a freediver at the age of 12 when he watched the Luc Besson film “Big Blue”, about the rivalry between two competitive freedivers.
“I watched ‘Big Blue’ on Vir, shut down the TV, walked by the boats to the sea and threw myself in” he says. Several years later he won a bet with a local fisherman who claimed he would not stand for 5 minutes under the sea. Now he can hold his breath fo rover 4 times that length.”Many freedivers really love the sea and life beneath the surface, and I, too, but me – I’m essentially a competitor. I like to compete – and that’s it. I just love that sense of victory. ”
Freedivers are known for their mastery of both their body and their breathing, and Colak has pushed the capabilities of the human body to limits which were once deemed impossible. Freedivers tend to have larger lungs than average humans meaning they can hold more oxygen. Having a slim body with little fat means his muscles don’t ned to burn lots of oxygen. But most important is the ability to relax.
Tom Siesta the previous world record holder says:
“You focus on the muscles themselves, lose any tension, accept the urge to breath – find it enjoyable if that’s possible. I don’t know if it’s special but the more difficult the situation gets the calmer I get.”
Free diver Guillaume Néry coming to the surface in a ray of sunshine.
(credit: National Geographic / One Strange Rock)