Friday, July 19, 2024

French Freediver Alice Modolo Delivers Olympic Torch From The Sea


A really cool segment of the Olympic Torch Relay took place underwater this week.

French freediver Alice Modolo collected the torch about 20m/66ft underwater in a one-and-a-half-minute dive and delivered it to Villefranche Harbor.

According to Modolo:

“It was neither the depth nor the time that counted. It was really the emblem of this historic moment to bring up the Olympic torch from the depths of Villefranche Harbor. And then when I came up, I couldn’t wait to share this moment with all the volunteers from the department, with all the people who were there. And of course, upon arriving at the docks, to be cheered like that, it’s magical. It’s more beautiful than in my dreams.”

The torch was made to preserve the marine environment: The smoke was produced by air bubbles contained in a mini-bottle supplied by Aqualung and hidden inside the torch. The flame was created by an orange-yellow 3D creation illuminated by LEDs controlled by a microcomputer hidden inside the torch.

To organize the underwater sequence, the Department of Alpes-Maritimes called on Claude Chapuis, AIDA instructor trainer and co-founder of AIDA, who organized the safety arrangements both underwater and on the surface.

Delphine Marleux and Cédric Palerme, both AIDA instructors and judges, were responsible for assisting Modolo, retrieving the torch and counting down the dive.

Brigitte Banegas, who qualified for the AIDA Freediving World Championship, was Modolo’s safety freediver.

Finally, a surface safety team was represented by eight AIDA safety competition freedivers, all students at the sport faculty of Nice University, where Chapuis, Marleux and Palerme work.

Check out a video of the event below.

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.