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William Trubridge

December 9, 2010

Trubridge has been getting a lot of attention lately on the nets. He deserves it. He’s a tremendously talented freediver who is setting new records in the “Constant Weight without Fins” category.” See this incredible video of him breaking the world record at 88m:

He’s since gone on to set a new record at 95 meters this past April. And he’ll try for an astonishing 100 meters sometime between December 10 and 16 at Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas.

Quite a few people have blogged on this already. I think, though, the online community has been missing the coolest part of the story: how far the sport has come in recent years. Here’s Trubridge on it:

When I first got into freediving, the world record without fins was 60 meters. It seemed like a freakish, unrepeatable performance. Gradually, as I started to discover the sport I realized that the boundaries might be a lot deeper. I set a goal for myself of 76 meters in two years time, thinking that if I aimed for something outlandish then even if I fell short I might still be at a world class level. Three years later (2005) I was at 76 meters, but the world record was by then 80, so I shifted my goal to 92 meters (which made a nice round number of 300 feet). Even before I reached that earlier this year, people started asking me about the 100 mark. “Do you think it’s possible?” “When do you think you’ll get there?”

Did you get that? About 10 years ago, the world record was almost half of what Trubridge is trying for. It’s pretty incredible, and I wonder where the limit really is.

(This all makes me think of the fact that a 4 minute mile was once thought impossible, and now the world record there is 3:43.)

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