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30 years after the releas of the movie, CMAS, FIPSAS and FFESM shared an event in Italy’s Olympic Committee headquater
In 1988 Le Grand Bleu opened the Cannes Film Festival and inspired a new generation of freedivers. The generation that contributed to the huge explosion of the diving phenomenon all around the world. Thirty years after, the Luc Besson’s movie was celebrated and returns to play a huge role for the world of divers, with CMAS chasing with its freediving the admission into the Olympic program.
To celebrate in the best way Le Grand Bleu, CMAS, Italian olympic committee CONI, FIPSAS and FFESSM (italian and french federations) hosted in Rome a great event: with Presidents Anna Arzhanova, Giovanni Malagò, Ugo Claudio Matteoli and Jean-Louis Blanchard, special guests were the actors who played as the youngs Enzo Maiorca and Jacques Mayol, Gregory Forstner and Jean-Marc Barr. With them, IOC members Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Ahmed Al-Jaber Al-Sabah and Mario Pescante and Arisf President Raffaele Chiulli also attended, with great divers Alexey Molchanov, Arthur Guerin Boeri, Alice Modolo, Alessia Zecchini, Vincenzo Ferri.
Anna Arzhanova: “People start to dive in the ancient time to get fish, food and other treasures of the Sea and now millions of people are watching athletes challenge themselves in a personal exploration while connecting with an environment that covers 75% of this Big Blue planet. And today our athletes go to the limits to do things that are impossible for others. And those who practice it, do it not only for records, but also for pleasure and a sense of adventure. Watching the video of this sport extreme from one side and natural from the other side also give the inspiration to the people to learn freediving for leisure. In some areas in the world the request for freediving education and certification is 4 times higher than for scuba diving. Thanks to new technology which give us the possibility to have on-line transmission and follow the athletes during all his performance, it has brought more viewers and awareness to a sport that is gaining a lot of traction. This technology has come at a perfect time when more and more people are searching for connection to self and the Ocean environment and joining a huge army of freedivers. And this allows us to aspire to the admission into the Olympic program”.
Giovanni Malagò, as CONI President, welcomed everybody: “As we hosted this event in our historical headquarter built in 1928, we would like everybody feels at home. freediving is an age-old sport, but very modern in its current declination and with an amazing future potential”. IOC Sheikh Ahmed Al-Fahad Al-Sabah then said: “It is an honor and a joy to be here on Le Grand Bleu 30th anniversary. Freediving is an important sport for me and for the culture of the Gulf countries, because it has always had an impact and an impulse on our economy. Today it’s developed and catalogued as event, but can be transformed into Olympic sport thanks to 2020 Agenda. Our task is to support and prepare a good context to make this dream become a reality. On the other hand, any goal is realized starting from a dream. And I promise that the freediving will be in the program of the Beach Games after the San Diego 2019 edition”. His fellow IOC member Mario Pescante addeed: “Maiorca and Mayol have represented the history of this sport, which today can express its Olympic ambition. Because to a vocation that has always been environmental, today it can associate a top quality competitive contribution”.
Claudio Matteoli underlined FIPSAS role for the protection of the environment and the development of sport: “Our environmental vocation has never failed, even today we are at the forefront in the fight against poaching. Today’s event was born from the idea of celebrating the film and creating a thread that led to today, from the athletes of the time Mayol and Mallorca to today’s champions”. And french federation President Jean-Louis Blanchard also said: “Apnea is a discipline that slowly, but with confidence is gaining momentum in the world sport scene. And in addition to the competitive aspect, there is the emotion that the apnea arouses, because it speaks to the heart, because it brings into profound elements of the human soul. The realization of dreams is in human destiny and all our institutions want Olympics. We can aspire to inclusion in the Olympic program because we have made huge strides in the safety of athletes and technology today allows us to be followed every moment by tv as needed to meet IOC’s needs”.
Patrizia Maiorca (Enzo’s daughter) reminded everyone that sport must always protect its traditions: “We want apnea in the Olympics, remembering every moment that to guide us must be love and respect for the sea”. The great divers explained their point of view, too: “The diver – Boeri said – is in complete harmony with the environment, is a true ecologist, guided by an ethic that involves total respect for water”. Molchanov addeed: “It is a very complete sport, that implies a lot of knowledge and preparation for an athlete, that covers many physical, technical and mental aspects. A sport that has no age, you can start very young and make records even over 50 years”. For Alice Modolo “apnea is revelation”, while Alessia Zecchini remembers with nostalgia her 104 meters world record in Bahamas: “It was a great honour to beat Natalia Molchanov’s record, Alexey’s mom”.
Source: CMAS / FIPSAS