Gianluca Genoni was born in Galliate near Novara on 5 July 1968. He swam competitively until the age of 20 when he started focusing on free diving. He set his first record in Siracusa on 17 August 1996, reaching 106 metres in variable weight apnea (a discipline in which he has also dived 160m). His other records include 85m in constant weight apnea, 138m in variable weight without fins, 18’03” in static apnea (a new world record) and 160m in no limits (a world record). In the world of scientific experimentation he was the first man to hold his breath under a metre of ice for more than 60 seconds at 3,000m (in Breuil-Crevinia in 2002) and more than 5,200m in the foothills of Mount Everest (in Nepal in 2003). A television presenter on sports programmes and marine life, he also campaigns to safeguard the ocean. Genoni promotes the practice of freediving and is currently international trainer director for SSI, the global leader in the teaching of scuba and freediving.