Alex Llinas is a professional freediver, and Team USA member. He has been freediving for over 14 years, but only in 2022 was he able to fulfill his dream of becoming a competitive freediver.
Being a professional freediver is an arduous and time-consuming effort, requiring the majority of the year dedicated to training and competition. Freediving competitions are held in remote, but often beautiful, parts of the world, and the majority of the year is spent traveling to these places for extended periods of time.
In 2022 alone, Alex traveled to Turkey, Bali, Bahamas, Honduras, and Egypt all for training and competitions. These expenses can quickly accumulate and the yearly budget is always at the forefront of the professional freediver. “Fortunately for me, I have had the support of FaverGray to help me accomplish some important goals in 2022,” shared Alex. Some of Alex’s accomplishments include:
Alex has dual citizenship USA/Colombia, these depths were achieved while competing for Colombia.
“My history with FaverGray started almost a decade ago when I taught a course to Jim Gray, Keith Faver, and some of the FaverGray team. I immediately bonded with them, especially Jim, we were both swimmers, and I was very inspired by the story of two friends taking a risk and finding success while maintaining a commitment to the community and giving back. I can tell you that Jim is a phenomenal athlete and he completed and excelled at every freediving challenge I threw his way, more important, he is an even better human being. FaverGray has been extremely generous in their support and without them, none of this dream would be possible,” shared Alex.
For 2023, Alex started the season with some warm-up competitions early in the season in the Philippines. “This being my first competition in pool discipline, while I wasn’t sure what to expect, I was pleased with my results, 1 national record for Colombia in CWTB 193m (bifins) and a 1st place in DYN 175m (monofin). Two weeks later I had my 1st depth comp of the season, although the brief time between competitions may have impacted my performance, I still managed to earn first place overall in CNF (no fins). Pool and depth require different types of training. In the pool the goal is to swim the longest distance underwater (horizontally), versus depth the goal is to dive as deep as possible (vertically), so the approaches and methods are quite different,” shared Alex.
For the rest of 2023, Alex plans on doing one more depth competition in the Philippines and then traveling back to the Americas to finish the season with his two most important competitions of the year, Vertical Blue and CMAS World Championships.
The 1st one, Vertical Blue, will be held in Long Island, Bahamas and it is arguably the most prestigious competition in the world, Alex earned an invite to this competition with his top 10 world ranking. More world records have been broken at this venue than any other place (including world championships) and the world’s top freedivers will be in attendance. “Placing on the podium will be very challenging, so my goals are to improve in my personal performances from last year and set some new national and continental records,” shared Alex. This competition will start on July 20th– July 30th and each athlete will get a chance to perform 6 dives max during this period in any discipline of their choice. There will be podiums for 3 disciplines (CWT, FIM, CNF) and an overall podium for combined points.
Alex’s final competition of the year for me will be the CMAS** world championships to be held in Roatan, Honduras. This will be his A competition for the year, where he will have the privilege of representing Team USA. Here, the majority of the over 100 divers compete over a span of 8 days. In this competition each athlete will only get one dive per discipline and the athlete may choose to compete in any or all disciplines. Last year, Alex was scheduled to compete in these world championships, but had an accident and broke his foot before the competition. “I hope to continue improving upon my performances and my ultimate goal would be to place on the podium for CNF (no fins) and/or CWTB (bifins), getting on the podium against the best divers of the world would be a dream, but my main goal will be to take the official USA CNF record,” shared Alex.
**There are 2 freediving governing bodies AIDA and CMAS. Alex competes for Colombia in AIDA and Represent the US in CMAS.