With “Wonder Woman” nearing the US$800 million/677 million Euro mark at the global box office, did you know that one of the physical trainers for the women who played the mighty Amazons is actually also a freediver who trained with the likes of William Trubridge and Martin Stepanek?
According to ComicBookMovie.com, trainer Mario Donato opened up recently about the work he did to get those women in shape for the movie.
During the interview, Donato, who was born in the Bahamas and has a personal freediving record of 95 meters/305 feet, talks about meeting greats like Umberto Pellizari, William Trubridge and Martin Stepanek whenever they would come to his home country for competitions.
Donato also talks about the psychology of freediving:
“The thing is, it’s a really slow process to get to that depth. So by the time you get to it, you’ve been doing it repeatedly over and over and over again. You only get a couple of meters every month if you’re lucky. It’s not like you jump in and do 60 feet, jump in do 80 feet, and then jump in and do 200 feet. It’s a day in and a day out process. For me, it turned out being a psychological thing. Because for the longest time I would just continuously hit about 20 plus meters, and one day I was diving in Dean’s Blue Hole, a place in the Bahamas, and at about 100 feet, there’s like a crescent, a rounding, it’s hard to explain, and I always knew I was getting close to 100 and my ear would start hurting, and I was like I don’t know if I can do it. So psychologically, I was psyching myself out and then one day we were diving in shit weather, and I couldn’t see the shelf, and I went right past it. So that’s when it kind of opened up to me that it was more of a psychological thing, but it’s a really slow process. People get into It, and they do really well, and the deeper you get, in my opinion, I mean I’ve been out of it for like seven or eight years now, I still freedive for fun, it slows down. Because the pressures get deeper, and then you need divers to assist you, you need people to look out for you once you get past a certain depth, it’s just not fun anymore, it becomes more technical.”
I read that you got into swimming and aquatic type activities at the age of ten. Can you speak to that, and your comfort level with the water?
Absolutely. Well, my mom is from England, my dad is from Italy. So, they actually met in the Bahamas, my dad was getting a hotel going, so I was born in the Bahamas. I don’t remember learning how to swim; do you know what I mean? It was just kind of always there, and then when I got into the breath holding and the free diving I started very young with my dad. I would go to the bottoms of boats with a scraper, just cleaning the bottoms of boats in the marina. The other way I started getting into it was we would go on boat trips with my father’s friends, these older guys. They would be drinking all day on the boat, and spearing fish. Obviously the drunker they got, they got better at spearing fish, but they couldn’t swim down to get them, and would send me down to bring the speared fish up. I was kind of a mule, and that’s how I got into it.
Check out the full interview at ComicBookMovie.com.