Diving to protect the environment

Posted on 06 December 2018.

Veolia's Central and Eastern European ambassador since 2017, Katarina Linczenyiova is a young, world-famous freediver. A portrait of an explorer of the ocean depths who is committed to the environment.

Katarina Linczenyiova is involved in ocean waste collection operations, cleaning the deepest ocean floors

Katarina Linczenyiova acquired international fame in the freediving and athletic world in 2013 when she established the women’s third deepest freedive at constant weight record - 85 meters. She was only 20 years old. Since then, she has been traveling the world setting new apnea records. And raising public awareness about the vital issue of marine pollution.

At 17, this young Bratislava-born Slovak discovered freediving - which means diving without oxygen. At the time she had significant health problems caused by an autoimmune disease and spent much of her time in hospital. Freediving helped her to mentaly cope with the medical treatment and take control of her health.

"It helped me to manage stress connected to health issues and daily life but also to manage pressure when I must perform on maximum as an athlete ," she says in an interview.

Since then freediving has been both her passion and her profession. Today, Katarina Linczenyiova is one of the three best freedivers in the world.

But for her, freediving is much more than just a sport. It's a way of life. Better still, it's the art of living your life to the full. A great way to explore the world and discover the natural and cultural wealth of our planet. Requiring perfect mastery of both mind and body, it is also a crucial therapeutic tool in her stress management research.

Drawing on her own experience, the young Slovak has become a stress management consultant certified by the British Psychological Association, mentoring both general public and high profile executives to deal with stress and pressure. 

Champion of the environment

This love of freediving and the ocean floor naturally led her to become actively involved in environmental issues. Katarina Linczenyiova has worked on several ocean conservation projects, she speaks regularly at numerous international conferences  and carries out awareness-raising activities aimed at the general public, currently about re - thinking plastic problematic. She believes that education is one of the keys.

In particular she participates in waste collection operations, cleaning the deepest ocean floors that have never before been reached. In Dahab in Egypt, she cleared one hectare of the seabed of almost 40 kilos of waste! She conducted a similar operation in Greece near the island of Hydra or in glacial lake Popradske Pleso, in Slovakia. Since September 2018 and with the support of Veolia, she has been discovering and documenting Czech and Slovak waters, showing its beauty and importance to public, with an aim to provide a source of inspiration for public to start thinking about environmental issues. She is currently preparing a project for education for sustainable development, which aim is to educate children at schools around Central Europe about waste problematic in 2019.