Who is Johanna Nordblad? Finnish ice diver's chilling world record journey is explored in Netflix's Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive

Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive premieres on Netflix on May 3, 2022 (Image via Netflix)
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive premieres on Netflix on May 3, 2022 (Image via Netflix)

Directed by Ian Derry, the new documentary Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive will follow Johanna Nordblad, a freediver from Finland, as she seeks to break the world record for distance traveled under frigid ice with just one breath. The documentary is set to premiere on May 3, 2022, exclusively on Netflix.

Primarily focusing on themes of strong willfulness, courage, and breaking records, Johanna's journey of swimming 103 meters under 60 cm of ice is worth every bit of the wait. This article will go into all the details about the unwavering spirit of this diver, as seen in a trailer released by Netflix last month:

“Girls can do anything men can do.”
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All about Johanna Nordblad and her career

Johanna Nordblad, 46, is a Finnish designer, ice diver, and freediver who was born in November, 1975. She allegedly began diving as a child and was later asked to attempt freediving in 2000.

After years as a scuba diver, she first began freediving in 1999. She began competing in world championship events, in which divers competed in several categories to discover who could dive the deepest or stay underwater the longest without using any breathing apparatus. Nordblad specializes in dynamic freediving with fins, which entails swimming as horizontally as possible underwater on a single breath.

She set the women's world record by swimming a horizontal distance of 158 meters in 2004 in Cyprus and has remained among the greatest freedivers in the world ever since.

Unfortunately, she was involved in a bike accident in 2010 that resulted in a broken leg, and a doctor encouraged her to utilize cold water treatments to speed up the recovery process, kicking off the next phase of her career. In an interview with The Guardian, she spoke about the incident:

“I was riding a downhill bike, traveling a slippery, muddy path down a hill when suddenly I began to slip. The fall wasn’t particularly dangerous, but I was unlucky and I hit a rock. My left leg was smashed into a thousand pieces, like a twisted branch.”

She returned to competition in 2015, setting the women's world record for ice diving, jumping 103 meters from one ice hole to another while wearing only a bathing suit. She continued saying:

“I love diving, feeling the water run between your fingers… When you’re down below there’s no margin for error. You have only yourself to trust. You have to be relaxed and in control at the same time. Freediving requires physical effort, but mental discipline is even more important. You have to do the dive without panicking or losing your head.”

She has nearly 10,000 followers on Instagram, where she frequently publishes her art. Johanna also worked as a photographer with her sister Elina Manninen to capture underwater images and videos.

Don't forget to catch Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive exclusively on Netflix on May 3, 2022.

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