On March 27, 2021, he achieved the astounding duration for the longest breath held underwater of 24 minutes 37.36 seconds.
A man standing next to Budimir Sobat in the pool is holding his head
That takes up more time than an entire episode of The Simpsons!
He broke the previous record (held by Aleix Segura Vendrel) by 34 seconds, which is a significant amount of time when you're not breathing, and it's certainly longer than the average person could hold their breath.
In Sisak, Croatia, which had been struck by a powerful earthquake in December 2020, Budimir made an attempt to break this record in order to raise money for earthquake victims.
We have a huge problem here in Croatia with earthquakes... the situation is serious at the moment in Croatia. We hope to raise some money for people in need because earthquakes destroy the whole city of Petrinja.
Due to the destruction caused by the earthquake, Budimir stated that it was "impossible to practice" at the beginning of this year.
However, the freediver, who was 56 years old at the time, was intent on shattering this record, and he continued with his training as soon as he was able to.
Obviously, it took him more than a couple of weeks to hone his breathing technique and get in record-breaking shape for this performance.
2 people standing next to Budimir Šobat in the pool
This journey is tough and full of unexpected situations where you can easily get stuck.
The thought of Budimir's daughter is what keeps him going, even if he is aware that trying a record as this comes with its share of challenges and risks.
The greatest motivation of all is my 21 years old daughter Saša who has autism. My results are giving me the media space and then I can speak about autism awareness.
Nevertheless, while Budimir was truly aiming to break the record, he was only paying attention to one thing: the rate of his heartbeat.
While I am doing my maximum static apnea I have my eyes closed and all I am focused on is to try to hear my heartbeat. Once I heard it I became calm and ready to fightthe time.
And fight the time he did!
After 24 minutes and 37.36 seconds, he broke the previous record and set a new one.
Before attempting to break the record, Budimir hyperventilated with pure oxygen for up to thirty minutes before the start of the attempt.
The standards for this record allow for this type of preparation for up to that amount of time.
The fact that Budimir didn't start freediving until he was 48 years old is a significant factor in the impressiveness of his accomplishments.
I am addicted to training of any kind so I have no problem with motivation and I never stop dreaming about achieving the top results in spite of my age. Now I have proved that everything is possible if you are strong and dedicated. In fact, my age gave me a benefit of experience to stay calm at the critical moments.
He continues by saying,
Of course, you have to be a little bit mad.
Budimir Šobat wearing a blue swim suit in the pool and standing next to a machine
According to Budimir, the most important thing is to get through the mental obstacles that come with doing sports.
Freediving is first of all a mental sport. If you can be stronger than your mind you will succeed.
You will be successful if you are able to overcome the limitations imposed by your thoughts.
These are his top three pieces of advice:
You should never miss a training session.
It is preferable to have too much training than to not have enough.
Don't just do it. Always strive to do things properly.
The previous record for the longest time a man deliberately held his breath was 24 minutes and 3 seconds, and it was set by Aleix Segura Vendrell of Spain on February 28, 2016, in Barcelona, Spain.
The record has come a long way since the first documented attempt, which was carried out by a man from the United States named Robert Foster on March 15, 1959, in a swimming pool located in San Rafael, California.
During this attempt, he held his breath voluntarily for 13 minutes and 42.5 seconds while submerged in 3.05 meters (10 feet) of water.
There is no new record of 2022 for holding breath underwater, so 2021 Budimir Šobat holds the place until now.
A Reddit userCottoncandy_Eyeballs explained about the non-voluntary record of holding breath underwater, "Non-voluntary breath hold winner Alvaro Garza Jr. 45 minutes under water, no brain damage."
Another user explained the process, "Low body temp drops metabolism through the floor, requires less oxygen. Cells didn't actually freeze, so there was no water crystallization that would have damaged the cells. So he was at the perfect temperature to majorly lower the need for oxygen and come out of it unscathed."