David Blaine Breaks Breathless World Record On Oprahby Contributor | | 01 May 2008
David Blaine has broken the world record for breath-holding live on Oprah Winfrey's TV show.
The magician remained underwater for 17 minutes and four seconds, beating the previous record - set on February 10th by Swiss Peter Colat - by 32 seconds.
"I feel great," Blaine said, having been pulled from a water-filled sphere on the show.
"I actually started to doubt I was going to make it because I'd never done it with such a high heart rate," he added.
The 35-year-old said breaking the record was a "lifelong dream".
When Winfrey asked him what he had thought about during his stint underwater, he replied: "You."
The bearded magician inhaled pure oxygen for 23 minutes before the stunt - permitted under Guinness World Records guidelines - so as to flush extra carbon dioxide from his blood.
"There's no enhancement, no cheating," he told Winfrey before the record attempt, explaining that his high-profile stunts - such as his 44-day fast in a glass cube and his two-day encasement in ice - were efforts to push the human body to its limits.
Blaine explained he had achieved a meditative state during the breath-holding attempt, helped by the reflection of the stage lights on the glass of the water-filled sphere.
But hearing his heartbeat - which became irregular towards the end of the stunt - helped him remain conscious, he said.
"I was pretty much here the whole time."