Claire Beatrix Paris recently broke two USA Women’s National, Continental and Pan-American freediving records at the 5th Annual South Florida Apnea Challenge event held at the Florida International University Aquatic Center in Miami.

On Saturday, October 26, Paris set a record in the Dynamic with Bi-Fins (DYNB) discipline under AIDA rules, swimming a distance of 142 meters/465 feet underwater. The following day, she broke another national record in the Dynamic with Fin (DYN) discipline, swimming with a monofin a distance of 187 meters/613 feet.

The records are Paris’s third and fourth USA national records. She has also held the USA national record in the Dynamic No Fins (DNF) pool discipline, with a 128-meter/420-foot swim at the South California Apnea Challenge freediving competition held in Los Angeles in 2015.

According to Paris:

“I feel blessed to have achieved two records at this year’s South Florida Apnea Challenge. I trained hard and was really focused on breaking the Dynamic record on Sunday, but the record in BiFins on Saturday was a surprise! I had no expectations going into the dive, but once I started, I intuitively felt it was right and was really happy to surface with the new record!”

Paris gives credit to those who inspired and helped her in her pursuit of Freediving excellence.

“It takes a lot of discipline to prepare for these records, but also passion. Preparing for this event has been a fantastic journey with guidance from Mirela Kardasevic of Croatia and support from my companion in life and in freediving, my husband Ricardo. I always think about Natalia Molchanova before a maximum dive. She would say Freediving is not only a sport, it’s a way to understand who we are. I dedicate these records to ocean awareness.”

Her husband Ricardo Paris, himself a freediving instructor, Vice President of USA Freediving and the organizer of the South Florida Apnea Challenge, marvels at his wife’s determination:

“Claire trains very hard to improve her performance. It’s not easy balancing pool training with her career as a scientist and professor, but she has an amazing ability to focus and do what’s required to achieve these great results.”

John Hullverson, President of USA Freediving, knows that it’s Paris’s determination that serves her so well in the sport:

“Claire is one of the most committed divers I’ve ever seen. She lives to freedive and just enjoys everything about it, and that shows in these records she keeps breaking. It also helps that she’s very competitive. Claire is only happy when she knows she’s done her absolute best.”

Paris, a Professor of Ocean Sciences at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Miami, is also a skilled deep ocean freediver, having achieved depths of 70 meters/230 feet in competition and in her training.

(Image credit: Brock Burggrabe)

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