ADEX Ambassador for Freediving: Alexey Molchanov 

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About Alexey Molchanov 

Alexey Molchanov is a Russian champion freediver, 24-time world champion (AIDA and CMAS), world record holder and freediving promoter. At 34, Alexey Molchanov has broken nearly every freediving record imaginable. He broke yet another world record this year, this time beneath an icy surface.

How he started

Alexey was born into a family of water lovers. Before the age of five, Alexey made local headlines for his performance in the 500-meter backstroke and freestyle. On family vacations at the Black Sea, he donned archaic diving gear that towered over his frame and began to explore the deep.

He spent his formative years traveling the world, from competition to competition, with his mother, Natalia who set 41 world records and won 23 world championship titles, despite not discovering the sport until after she divorced at 39 years old in 2002. She never sought sponsorship and supported her family by teaching the sport she loved. 

Having won his first freediving competition in April 2004 and setting the Russian national record at 158 meters, Alexey continued his freediving career with many more wins. He also went to Cyprus to see his mother compete in an open-water competition in the same year. There, he ventured a hundred feet down through the royal-blue water to examine the Zenobia, a famous wreck with propeller blades longer than a man, entirely on one breath hold. “I was following her and she took me in this exciting world, which looked like a dream,” he says.

By 2015, Natalia’s curriculum was being taught across Russia and Eastern Europe, and her son already had one depth record, and multiple world championships, to his name. Additionally, he began manufacturing free-diving gear under the Molchanovs brand.

The journey of world records in freediving 

When Alexey dives, he deploys a technique that his mother, Natalia Molchanova, the most decorated free diver of all time, first developed and taught, and Molchanov has taken worldwide. She called it deconcentration. Instead of taking in the scene, he detached from it, both visually and psychologically.

“The water, free diving was the way for me to cleanse and recover,” he said. Being underwater allowed him to connect with his mother while also letting go. “It’s thinking about this connection, and it’s also about not letting the tension and all the negative emotions settle in the body.”

Alexey started breaking records. Molchanov won his first Vertical Blue, the Wimbledon of free diving, in 2017. The following year, he broke two depth records at Dean’s Blue Hole, the training ground of William Trubridge, his greatest rival. He broke his own Constant Weight record by diving to 130 meters with a monofin in 2018, and he broke Trubridge’s Free Immersion record by pulling a line from 125 meters to 130 meters and back again.

While most professional divers take a break from pushing their limits each winter, Molchanov is different.  A year later, he set another world record in ice diving, covering 180 meters (591 feet) in a feat of distance rather than depth, under the ice in a quarry just outside Moscow.

On March 16th, 2021, Alexey set a New Guinness Record for Freediving Constant Weight with Monofin by descending -80 meters on Lake Baikal, located in Siberia region in Russia. “For me, freediving is not just a job or hobby, but a life’s work, and I am glad to have this new opportunity to share this amazing sport with as large an audience as possible,” Molchanov said after his dive. “This is not even just a sport, but a way to learn how to manage your psychological state.”

Hear more from Alexey Molchanov 

It takes a whole lot of discipline and experience to achieve what Alexey has accomplished. Don’t hear from the ordinary, hear from the extraordinary. Catch Alexey Molchanov here: 

#APE 8TH MONTHLY VIRTUAL EVENT 2021 SCHEDULE – SEPTEMBER SERIES

Organised by the digital platform for ADEX Asia Dive Expo, ADEX Pixel Expo, #APE 8th Monthly Virtual Event 2021 celebrates the diversity of the ocean and its diving landscape, with a series of events happening on the 8th of each month, with an aim to bring trending dialogue and deep-rooted tales on the pulse of scuba diving, with inspirational guests and insightful stories!

This September Edition focuses on Dive Safety and Education. Click here to find out more about upcoming events and schedule!