In what can only be described as an inspiring documentary that emphasizes the importance of both hard work and perseverance, ‘Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive’ chronicles a sports tale unlike any other. After all, it follows pioneering freediver Johanna Nordblad as she attempts to break the world record for distance traveled from one ice hole to another (wearing nothing but a swimsuit) in a single breath.
Thus, of course, this Netflix original is full of snow-clad sites, frozen water bodies, and twilight-blue shots of the cast members to really drive home the fact that cold is the leading constant in this journey. So now, with the chill of the weather as well as the entire concept of ice diving in mind, let’s find out precisely where the filming of this fascinating, (literal) breath halting production took place, shall we?
Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive Filming Locations
Since graphic designer, freediver, and ice diving professional Johanna Nordblad is a Finland native through and through, the entirety of ‘Hold Your Breath: The Ice Dive’ was also shot in this European country. That’s because it is not only her homeland but the place where she was determined to attempt the world record after months of sheer practice, just for it to still be different than what she’d wanted. Here are the details.
Johanna Nordblad’s first choice for the record attempt back in 2020 — before covid-19 hit and shut everything down — was the lake/area she had been practicing in around Heinola. However, since it wasn’t nearly as icy as she needed to be, considering the federation’s rules, she had to move further up north from this beautiful Päijänne town. This region has even served as a filming location for ‘The Other Side of Hope’ (2017).
From Heinola, Johanna arrived in Hossa, a small yet magnificent village located in the province of Oulu as well as parts of Suomussalmi. And it was here, at Lake Öllöri, that she beat the world record by covering 103 meters in 2.42 minutes at an air temperature of -7° celsius in March 2021. As per the documentary, this essentially means the freediver kept a single breath going for nearly three minutes in almost hyperthermic conditions to achieve her goals. Yet it is evident she didn’t complain about any aspect because the winning title is what she’d truly wanted.