PROFILE: Andriy Khvetkevych, 2018 TEAM AMERICA

With the upcoming 2018 CMAS World Championships in October, we will be profiling each of the members of 2018 Team America. Enjoy their stories. Get to know them, and we hope that you find a nugget of inspiration from their story.

Andriy Khvetkevych

How long you’ve been freediving?

My very first freedive was in February 2017, so just over a year. I loved it so much that in September 2017 I completed all PADI Freediver courses up to Master level and now I am happy to be a PADI Freediving Instructor.

What, or who, inspired you to freedive?

During my SCUBA Instructor Internship in Thailand, PADI had newly introduced Freediving packages. My Dive Center offered me a basic Freediving course as an introduction. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to do it because I was so accustomed to breathing while underwater. My friend, mentor and Freediving Instructor Sergey Busargin strongly suggested I try and I fell in love. I never expected this sport would have such an effect, but it has changed my life.

When I did my Freediving Instructor Internship, one of my students Nic Brown said, “One day I’ll be a National Record Holder for Canada.” This prompted us to check the standing national records for several countries and somewhat jokingly I replied, “One day I’ll be a National Record Holder too”. That dream has become a reality. Before joining the Team America, in July 2018 I became a National Record holder for Ukraine (my native country) in the Constant No-Fins discipline with a dive of 71 meters (233 feet) equal to that of the AIDA United States National record. In 2016 I relocated to the United States and now I am happy to compete with the Team America.

Why do you freedive, and what has it done for you?

For many years I have been an avid Vipassana meditation practitioner. During the retreats you’re not allowed to talk, use phones, books etc. in order to gain the highest levels of concentration. When I started to Freedive, I immediately recognized I was using a lot of meditation techniques during my dives. My knowledge of meditation has propelled my freediving career and because of these tools I’ve reached new goals and new states of mind. Freediving completely changed the trajectory of my life. Utilizing my knowledge base, I have created my own course “Meditation for Freediving” which helps students reach their goals faster and safer. Freediving has allowed me to combine my two greatest passions.

What are your future freediving goals?

I love to be in the water. From overly long showers to endless swims in the ocean, it is where I feel the most at home. It is one of my greatest desires to feel this magnificent source at greater depths: 90, 100, and maybe eventually 150 meters!

What is your profession and other hobbies?

11 years ago I founded an IT company in Ukraine, NIC.UA and now it’s one of the largest domain registrar organizations in Ukraine. I like underwater photography and Scuba diving. My photography can be seen on my Instagram @diveeasy and last week it reached over 2 million views!

What advice about freediving would you like to offer readers?

Be patient, never rush, and you’ll reach your goals! Always listen to your body and your feelings. Never freedive alone, even in the pool. Always bring a buddy. Be responsible, don’t touch corals, use reef-safe sunscreen and respect aquatic life. Share and save the love for future generations.