One Breath is a gripping and powerful exploration of the strange and fascinating sport of freediving, and of the tragic, untimely death of America’s greatest freediver
Competitive freediving—a sport built on diving as deep as possible on a single breath—tests the limits of human ability in the most hostile environment on earth. The unique and eclectic breed of individuals who freedive at the highest level regularly dive hundreds of feet below the ocean’s surface, reaching such depths that their organs compress, light disappears, and one mistake could kill them.
Even among freedivers, few have ever gone as deep as Nicholas Mevoli. A handsome young American with an unmatched talent for the sport, Nick was among freediving’s brightest stars. He was also an extraordinary individual, one who rebelled against the vapid and commoditized society around him by relentlessly questing for something more meaningful and authentic, whatever the risks. So when Nick Mevoli arrived at Vertical Blue in 2013, the world’s premier freediving competition, he was widely expected to challenge records and continue his meteoric rise to stardom.
Instead, before the end of that fateful competition Nick Mevoli had died, a victim of the sport that had made him a star, and the very future of free diving was called into question. With unparalleled access and masterfully crafted prose, One Breath tells his unforgettable story, and of the sport which shaped and ultimately destroyed him.
“It is a haunting tale…one imagines Nick Mevoli, young and beautiful—an undersea Icarus falling from the sun, away from friends, family and life.” - The Economist
"A vicarious thrill that you can enjoy in a little over 300 pages and unless you read it in the bath, you don’t even have to get wet. Just remember to breathe." - National Geographic Traveller
“Bears eloquent testimony to Mevoli’s life, his passions, his demons, and the sport he loved. … the narrative is colorful and frequently thrilling, and many of the characters leap off the page.” - The LA Review of Books
“Skolnick does an amazing job of showing you the forces, internally and externally, that drove Mevoli to his tragic end.” – Boing Boing
"One Breath could stand comfortably alongside classics of extreme-sports journalism such as Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air, about the 1996 Mount Everest disaster. Like the best books on ultra-marathons, One Breath captures not just the adrenaline tang of the sport but also the compelling character of its practitioners and the deeper existential experiences they seek." The Sunday Times
"Skolnick shows sharp reportorial instincts in this multilayered narrative...This is a page-turning book...but it's also about the competitors drawn to the sport, the ones for whom "freediving is both an athletic quest to push the limits of the body and mind, and a spiritual experience." A worthy addition to the growing body of literature on adventures that test the limits of nature and mankind." - Kirkus
Published : Little, Brown