Guillaume Néry

Some of my first dives were along the Promenade des Anglais as a child. I remember the excitement and fear of seeing the pebbles go deeper and deeper and then almost disappearing out of sight. I found it fascinating, like I was going into my own little space.

I started freediving at 14 and initially I was just focused competitions and records. In 2015, I tried to break my 5th world record but there was a mistake in the measurement of the cable. I ended up at 139M instead of 129M which was way too deep for me and I damaged my lungs on the way up. I recovered but it was a breaking point and my relationship with the sport changed.

I stopped competing and I realised that freediving was an amazing way to see the underwater world, marine animals and explore new places.

It's not just a sport, it's a lifestyle and you develop a relationship with the elements. It teaches you humility because when you dive deep into the sea you realise how small we are.

Cycling has forged me into the athlete I have become. As a child, I wasn’t particularly into sports, but I always went out on my bike regularly. It has helped me develop strong thighs and a passion for endurance which are essential for deep diving.

When I started to perform well underwater, I used the bike as a training tool because it is great for practicing breath work, energy saving and building muscle. In college I was going out on my bike around 5 times a week and even as my career progressed, I still rode at least twice a week.

Over the years my relationship with cycling has changed as well. Now, I use my bike all time to get around Nice, not just for training, and recently I have fallen in love with bikepacking. Last summer I crossed the Alps with my partner and this year I hope to take on the Pyrenees.

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