Simone Arrigoni (born in Rome, Italy, on 4 September 1973) is an Italian free-diver specialised in various disciplines of dynamic apnea, a multiple free-diving world record holder and a classical pianist and piano tutor.
He started his career as a pianist soon after earning a Piano Diploma with the highest honours at the conservatory, until two sudden events changed his life in 1999: he had to stop performing piano recitals because he was involved in a car accident and he lost his young cousin Stefano while he was diving in the sea. One of Stefano's dreams was to establish a freediving record, thus Arrigoni promised to realize it for him and started training. He has worked towards keeping this promise since 2003, breaking his first world record in Dynamic Apnea (in which a person covers a horizontal distance holding his breath underwater) and dedicating it to his cousin.
Simone Arrigoni established 19 free-diving world records at sea, lake, under the ice and with dolphins, often opening the Giochi del mare editions with his performances. His sporting career was also nearly ended for a second time having suffered from another heavy car crash in 2004.
Since 2008 he has collaborated with biologists and students at Zoomarine Italia to carry on research projects on the study of free-diving and the comparative physiology relationship between man and dolphin.
He is an ActionAid Ambassador and Honorary Member of the Centro Studi Cetacei, a non-profit Italian association that is concerned with the study and rescue of marine mammals and reptiles since 1986.
He opened two new specialties of dynamic apnea:
- the Horizontal Free Immersion, devised by Arrigoni in 2009 to allow disabled persons to play this aquatic sport, in which the freediver covers a horizontal distance pulling on a rope;
- the Dolphin's Breath, which consists in freediving with monofin along a horizontal distance of predetermined length, periodically resurfacing to take a single breath of 1 second, and aiming at taking the lower number of single breaths as possible during the declared distance. The Dolphin's Breath was inaugurated by Arrigoni to disseminate two important slogans: "Mind the dolphins", to raise public awareness to protect marine mammals and their environment, and "Never alone", to remind people to never practice freediving alone for security reasons, following the example given by dolphins which live and swim in group, always helping each other in case of difficulty.
Arrigoni has set the following world records:
- Dynamic freedive without fins in sea, 60 mt, Porto Santo Stefano, Italy, November 9, 2003.
- Dynamic freedive without fins under ice, 30 mt, at the 19th Stage of Diving Under Ice A.N.I.S., Lavarone, Italy, January 31, 2004.
- Dynamic freedive without fins in sea, 83 mt, Giochi del Mare, Balestrate, Italy, June 17, 2004.
- Dynamic freedive without fins in lake, 70 mt, Bracciano, Italy, June 7, 2005.
- Dynamic freedive without fins under ice, 41 mt, at the 21st Stage of Diving Under Ice A.N.I.S, Lavarone, Italy, February 4, 2006.
- Dynamic freedive with DPV (Dive Propulsion Vehicle) in sea, 231 mt, Giochi del Mare, Formia, Italy, June 25, 2007.
- Dynamic freedive with DPV (Dive Propulsion Vehicle) in lake, 381 mt, Bracciano, Italy, June 2, 2008.
- Freedive pushed by two dolphins, distance of 9 Zoomarine's swimming pools length (estimated of about 450 mt), Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 17, 2009.
- Horizontal Free Immersion in sea, 101 mt, Giochi del Mare, Formia, Italy, June 17, 2009.
- Freedive pushed by two dolphins, 12 underwater loops, Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 27, 2010.
- Freedive pushed by two dolphins, 13 underwater loops, Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 19, 2011.
- Freedive pushed by two dolphins, 14 underwater loops, Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 23, 2013.
- Dynamic freedive with DPV (Flyboard) in sea, 500 mt, Tropea, Italy, September 30, 2013.
- Freedive pushed by two dolphins, 15 underwater loops, Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 22, 2014.
- Freedive pushed by one dolphin, 7 underwater loops, Zoomarine, Torvaianica, Italy, May 28, 2015.
- Dolphin's Breath with monofin in sea, 1 km with 95 single breaths (total time 23'30" with 1'35" of breathing), Giochi del Mare, Santa Marinella, Italy, June 8, 2016.
- Dolphin's Breath with monofin in sea, 500 mt with 35 single breaths (total time 9' with 35" of breathing), Limnionas, Kythira, Greece, August 12, 2016.
- Dolphin's Breath with monofin in sea, 500 mt with 32 single breaths (total time 9' 10" with 32" of breathing), Diakofti, Kythira, Greece, September 5, 2016.
- Dolphin's Breath with monofin in sea, 500 mt with 30 single breaths (total time 10' with 30" of breathing), Diakofti, Kythira, Greece, September 15, 2016.
Since 2010 he has been developing his great interest in photography ‒ a powerful means of expression and exploration for him – in which he looks for unusual perspectives, details, lights, and symmetries. His photos and reportages have been published in print and online magazines, and have received many awards in the most prestigious international photo contests, such as the International Photography Awards.
Arrigoni has published an autobiography in Italian: Sette respiri. In apnea tra musica, record e delfini, Charleston (SC), CreateSpace, 2016.