Freediver Budimir Šobat already owned a world record that most people would deem untouchable, having held his breath underwater for 24 minutes and 11 seconds in February of 2018. Last March, however, Šobat went back to the pool determined to smash his own record—and succeeded.

In a recently released video from Guinness World Records, you can watch as Šobat, 56, beats his previous mark by nearly 30 seconds, setting a new record of 24 minutes and 33 seconds. Šobat’s motivation, the video explains, was at least partly altruistic: He wanted to raise awareness for relief efforts still underway in Croatia following a 6.4-magnitude earthquake in December 2020.

“We have a huge problem here in Croatia with earthquakes. The situation is serious,” he said. “We hope to raise some money for people in need because earthquakes [destroyed] the whole city of Petrinja.”

As he prepared for his attempt, Šobat says he spent six days a week training and perfecting his technique. “This journey is tough and full of unexpected situations where you can easily get stuck,” he said. As with previous attempts, he added that he hopes the larger platform afforded by his achievement will also help him raise awareness for autism, which his daughter Saša lives with.

A relative latecomer to the sport of freediving, Šobat didn’t begin competing until 48, long past the age most professional athletes call it quits. Šobat, however, now thinks of his age as an advantage—his maturity, he says, helps him easily overcome mental obstacles.

“I am addicted to training of any kind, so I have no problem with motivation and I never stop dreaming about achieving the top results in spite of my age,” he said. “Now I have proved that everything is possible if you are strong and dedicated.”

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