Danish-born Stig Åvall Severinsen is a four-time world freediving champion and holder of multiple Guinness World Records. Author of the best selling book “Breatheology – The Art Of Conscious Breathing”
Severinsen has a degree in biology and a Ph.D. in medicine. He began experimenting with holding his breath as a child at the bottom of his parents’ pool. He started swimming at the age of 6 and was awarded National Champion four years in a row at 9, 10, 11 and 12. From 1993 – 2003 he played underwater rugby and was a member of the Danish national team. During university studies in Barcelona, Spain in 1998 – 1999, he played underwater hockey on the Spanish national team. A fascination with long breath holds underwater drew him to the world of free diving. In 2010 he founded Breatheology – an online platform teaching optimal health and performance via breathing, breath holding, and mental training techniques.
Combining yoga and his knowledge of physiology in free diving, Severinsen became a record holder of four AIDA freediving world records. He achieved two Guinness World Records in 2010: in March that year he swam 236 feet (72 meters) under ice wearing only swimming trunks and goggles exceeding Wim Hof’s record of March 2000 by 47.6 feet (14.5 meters); and in April, after inhaling pure oxygen, he held his breath for 20 minutes and 10 seconds in a tank full of sharks at the Kattegat Centre in Grenaa. In May 2012 he was awarded the record of “Longest time breath held voluntarily (male)” by Guinness World Records for holding his breath for 22 minutes; this record was achieved in a tank at the London School of Diving with the water cooled to 30°F (-1°C). He held this record until February 28, 2016, when it was broken by Aleix Segura. In April 2013 in Oorlotoq Lake in East Greenland, he set two new world records for “Longest swim under ice – breath held”: 500 feet (152.4 meters) while wearing a wetsuit and monofin, taking 2 minutes, 11 seconds, and the following day, 250 feet (76.2 meters) wearing only swimming trunks. He announced this would be his last record attempts and he would now concentrate on teaching.
Severinsen was chosen “The Ultimate Superhuman” on the Discovery Channel programme “Superhuman a Showdown”, and a documentary about him, Stig Severinsen: The man who doesn’t breathe, was produced for broadcast on Discovery Channel and on Quest in the UK in October 2013.