Free-diving is diving underwater, holding your breath, without the use of equipment.

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Free-diving is diving underwater, holding your breath, without the use of equipment. In ancient times people had to free-dive to get food, such as fish and shellfish. Free divers also c 56. treasures lying at the bottom of the ocean. The Mediterranean Sea, south of Europe, had many trading ships passing through. Often ships sank, sometimes because of storms. They would swim down to the shipwreck and try to lift the most precious pieces. In modern times, free-diving is part of many different a57.such as underwater photography and spearfishing. Sports such as underwater football, rugby and hockey also involve free-diving.
The most dangerous free-diving is practised by a small group of extreme sportsmen and sportswomen who swim very deep. They aim to go to great depths and d58. for a long time on a single breath, wearing only a wetsuit. Deep under the water it is cold and black. The weight or pressure on your body is much h59.  than that at the surface. That weight, and going so long on only one breath, can cause a person to become unconscious(无意识的)because of a lack of oxygen, and then die.
Why do people want to take part in a sport that is so dangerous?
You need to be fit to swim so deep, but you also need to be very strong mentally(精神上). At first it is difficult to sink. You have to stay c60. and even slow your thinking. But finally the air is pushed from your body, and you start to sink. It is as if the water were d 61. you down. This is a very peaceful feeling.
Natalia wrote many poems about her love of being in the deep blue ocean. She felt at one with nature there, as if in an ancient space. She would go into a deep state of being quiet and thinking before she went into the water. She would leave b62.her the stress of life, which she called “surface fuss”. According to Natalia, when you stop breathing, most of your body’s functions stop. It is as if time itself stopped.
61.dragging/ drawing
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