- Martin Štěpánek (free-diver)
Martin Štěpánek (born in Náchod, Czech Republic on June 5, 1977) is a world class free-diver and record-holder. From 1984 to 1997 he was a competitive monofin swimmer (finswimmer) (distances 50m and 100m). Martin's academic background follows a degree in Forestry Engineering with advanced studies in Sports Biology at the Charles University in Prague, Czech Republic. After moving to the United States he became USA Certified as a Deep Sea and Saturation Commercial Diver in May 1999. In 2000 Martin met Douglas Peterson, who went on to become his freediving coach and mentor, guiding him to his first World Record in July 2001. Since then, Martin has continued to set freediving world records annually up to the present day. He is now recognized as one of the pioneers of modern freediving education.
Martin was on hand during David Blaine's "Drowned Alive" stunt in Lincoln Center in May 2006. Blaine was attempting to hold his breath (known as "apnea") long enough to break the current world record of eight minutes, fifty-eight seconds. Martin, along with fellow freediver Mandy-Rae Cruickshank, dove into the tank to assist Blaine after the attempt failed. On March 1, 2007 Martin announced his resignation from Performance Freediving sports team, and on March 16, 2007 announced the formation of freediving education agency, headquartered out of Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
In May 2009, utilizing only his monofin for propulsion, Martin became the first man to dive over 400 feet on a single breath of air.
On May 23, 2011 Martin announced he will attempt to break all three current depth freediving World Records at his upcoming event. Due to an inner ear problem, the dive was cut short at 90 meters ( the current record to beat was 125 meters). Martin decided that he would cancel further record breaking dive attempts until he received a more detailed medical examination.
On August 6, 2011, Martin married his partner and fellow freediver, Niki Roderick.
Official World Records by Martin Štěpánek
Apnea Record Date Location FIM 110 m 23 May 2009 Sharm (Egypt) CWT 122 m 22 May 2009 Sharm (Egypt) FIM 108 m 5 April 2006 Cayman (BWI) FIM 106 m 3 April 2006 Cayman (BWI) CWT 106 m 1 April 2006 Cayman (BWI) VWT 136 m 14 April 2005 Cayman (BWI) CNF 80 m 9 April 2005 Cayman (BWI) CWT 103 m 10 September 2004 Spetses (Greece) FIM 102 m 3 Mars 2004 Cayman (BWI) CWT 93 m 29 May 2003 Limassol (Cyprus) FIM 90 m 8 September 2001 Miami (USA) STA 8 min 6 sec 3 July 2001 Miami (USA) STA 7 min 47 sec 1 July 2001 Miami (USA)
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