Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is a Netflix exclusive documentary that tells the inspiring tale of the ice diver Johanna Nordblad.
Her attempt to outdo the existing world record for travelling the maximum distance under the ice in a single dive and with just one breath was an inspiring feat.
Johanna Nordblad is a 46-year-old Finnish graphic designer, entrepreneur, free diver, and ice diver- all rolled into one.
Adventurous to the core, Johanna held the world record in the women’s category for travelling 50 meters, the most distance travelled under the ice with just one breath.
Not one to rest on her laurels, Johanna aims next for the 80-meter world record in the men’s category because if men can do it, why can’t women.
In this mission, Johanna has the constant support of her elder sister Elina Manninen. Elina helps her train and also shoots underwater pictures of her.
In fact, Johanna has been Elina’s model ever since Elina got a camera at the age of ten. Johanna is also a mother to a son who is very proud of her.
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive Plot
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is all about the vigorous training that Johanna goes through and her persistence.
In her words, mental training is as necessary as the physical one because the mind has to stay calm throughout for the body to accomplish this almost infeasible task which involves the risk of having a cardiac arrest or deep unconsciousness.
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive begins with the countdown to Johanna’s epic leap into the icy cold water in an attempt to create history.
Shortly after the credits, we get to view Johanna’s arduous journey to achieve her dream. Johanna admits that she has always been fascinated with water. However, her fascination with ice diving came much later.
In 2010, the downhill biking enthusiast Johanna met with a terrible accident while downhill biking, breaking her leg into a thousand pieces.
To overcome the unbearable nerve pain, Johanna’s doctor suggested cold treatment, which involved immersing the broken leg in ice-cold water.
Initially, the treatment seemed excruciatingly painful, but gradually, Johanna got used to it.
As the nerve pain started to subside, she started dipping her other leg and then her whole body into the freezing water and found herself in deep relaxation.
After breaking the world record for women, Johanna started practising breaking the 80-meter world record with Elina’s help.
During the 2020 winter, the sisters realised that the ice thickness in the lake where Johanna had been practising was less than usual.
It did not fulfil their requirements, so the siblings drove north to the Hossa National Park to continue Johanna’s practice.
Johanna’s challenges, however, were far from over. She had been suffering from a chest infection, and the doctors had suggested further investigations.
On the other hand, the COVID 19 pandemic, which engulfed the world, put a stop to all the sporting activities around the world.
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive Ending Explained: did Johanna ultimately make it?
The following winter, Johanna, armed with her determination, turns up at Hossa to take up the challenge.
However, things are more challenging this year, with Johanna having practised much less than the previous year due to the pandemic.
Her record has also been broken by a woman ice diver, who travelled 70 meters under ice and an unofficial dive of 102 meters, making Johanna’s new target to travel 103 meters under ice in a single breath.
Preparations are made for Johanna’s dive. Eight triangular holes are made at fixed distances, which would act as an escape route for Johanna, should she find herself unable to complete the 103-meter lap.
An ambulance, too, has been kept ready as another safety measure.
All preparations in place, the countdown begins while Johanna takes deep breaths, trying to take up as much oxygen as possible.
Johanna removes her protective clothing and dives into the icy water wearing a flimsy swimsuit at the end of the countdown.
As she moves ahead, a tad slow, the rest of the group, including a very tense Elina, follow her movement from above the lake.
After some edge-of-your-seat moments, Johanna finally emerges from the last triangular hole, the 103-meter hole, breaking the world record and earning a place for herself in history!
A Review of Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive
Directed by Ian Derry for the streaming platform Netflix, Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is a forty-minute documentary that inspires us to never give up even in the face of adversities.
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is a tale of grit, determination, perseverance, and overcoming the odds to emerge a winner.
The picturesque ice-covered lakes make for breathtaking views. Our take on Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive is that it makes for a fantastic forty-minute view.