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7.27.2006

Thank you, Audrey



Audrey Mestre held the world record for women's free-diving at one point in her life. Audrey's May 2000 record of 412.5 ft. was broken by
Tanya Streeter on August 2002. The new record was 525 ft.

On October 12, 2002, Audrey's husband, Francisco (Pipin) Ferreras coached her to break the record at 561 ft. Unfortunately, due to a malfunction in equipment, she was never able to celebrate her victory. Her death that day was cause for much criticism from the diving community.
They faulted Pipin for pushing too hard and for lacking safety procedures. Perhaps they also felt that he was winning through her and that it was his drive that eventually killed her.

This is sexism in its purest from.
If it were Pipin who had died setting a world record while his wife had
encouraged him --people would have said: "he died doing what he loved best and his wife never stood in the way of his happiness"
Why is it that because Audrey was a woman, it was assumed that she was pressured by her husband to hold her breath and get propelled 561 ft deep into the dark blue ocean?

Audrey was a strong woman. She was bright and focused. She did whatever she set out to do and was driven by her own ambition.
She had that competetive chip in her brain that many other sporting greats have.
There was no gun to her head when she decided to try and break yet another record.
Why is it that because she was a wife in pursuit of a goal, blame needed to be assigned?
Her husband is widowed by this accident.
The whole dive team involved will forever be haunted by the picture of Audrey's calm and non-hysterical movements the moment she was aware that she was not going to live.
And all future dives of this nature will probably have back-up equipment,
thanks to Audrey.

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