Enzo Maiorca was an Italian freediver who set 17 world records in his career. He was a pioneer and a hero of the sport, who challenged the limits of the human body and the depths of the sea. He was also a man of character and spirit, who lived with passion and courage. He died on 13 November 2016, at the age of 85, in his hometown of Syracuse, Sicily. But what was Enzo Maiorca’s cause of death and how did he cope with his illness?
Enzo Maiorca’s Life and Achievements
Enzo Maiorca was born on 21 June 1931 in Syracuse, Sicily. He learned to swim at the age of 4 and soon developed a fascination for the underwater world. He started diving with a mask and a snorkel, and later with a speargun. He became a champion of spearfishing, but he also felt a strong attraction for the pure challenge of diving deeper and deeper on a single breath of air.
In 1956, he read an article about a new world record of 41 meters set by two Italian spearfishers, Ennio Falco and Alberto Novelli. He decided to beat them and become the “man who reaches the deepest”. He achieved his goal in 1960, when he dived to 45 meters, surpassing the Brazilian Américo Santarelli. He then engaged in a fierce rivalry with Santarelli, who reclaimed the title several times, until Maiorca reached 49 meters in 1962.
Maiorca continued to push the boundaries of freediving, breaking his own records and those of his competitors, such as the American Robert Croft and the French Jacques Mayol. He explored different disciplines, such as constant weight, no limits, and variable weight. He also experimented with different techniques, such as yoga, meditation, and hyperventilation. He became a legend of the sport, and a source of inspiration and admiration for many divers around the world.
Maiorca’s most famous record was 101 meters, which he achieved in 1988, at the age of 57, in the variable weight category. This was the culmination of his career, and also his last record. He retired from competition, but he never stopped diving and loving the sea. He also became a television personality, a writer, and an environmentalist. He dedicated his life to promoting and preserving the marine heritage and culture of his country.
Enzo Maiorca’s Illness and Death
Enzo Maiorca’s cause of death was not officially disclosed, but according to some sources, he had been suffering from a lung disease for several years. He had been hospitalized several times and had to undergo oxygen therapy. He also had other health problems, such as diabetes and high blood pressure. He faced his illness with dignity and strength, but he also expressed his sadness and frustration for not being able to dive as he used to.
He died on 13 November 2016, in his home in Syracuse, Sicily. He was mourned by his family, his friends, and his fans. His funeral was held on 15 November, and was attended by hundreds of people, who paid their respects and their tribute to the freediving legend. He was buried in the cemetery of Santa Lucia, near the sea that he loved so much.
Enzo Maiorca’s Legacy and Influence
Enzo Maiorca was a unique and remarkable person, who left a lasting impression on the freediving community and the general public. He was respected and admired for his skills, his knowledge, his charisma, and his authenticity. He was also loved and appreciated for his warmth, his generosity, his humor, and his optimism. He was a proud and patriotic Sicilian, who celebrated and preserved the history and the beauty of his island. He was also a humble and down-to-earth man, who enjoyed the simple pleasures of life, such as a glass of wine, a plate of pasta, and a chat.
Enzo Maiorca inspired and influenced many people, especially young people, to pursue their dreams and passions, and to appreciate the wonders and the challenges of the sea. He also raised awareness and appreciation of the freediving sport, which is now practiced by millions of people around the world. He was honored and recognized for his achievements and contributions, and received several awards and accolades, such as the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic, the Golden Trident of the International Academy of Underwater Sciences and Techniques, and the Honorary Citizenship of Syracuse. He also had several statues, plaques, and memorials erected in his honor, such as the Enzo Maiorca Museum, the Enzo Maiorca Diving Center, and the Enzo Maiorca Marine Park.
Enzo Maiorca was a hero and a legend, who touched the hearts and minds of millions of people. He was a freediver, a television star, and an environmentalist, but above all, he was a man of the sea and of the depth. He lived his life to the fullest, and faced his death with grace and serenity. He will be remembered and missed by everyone who knew him and watched him. Rest in peace, Enzo. You were a true master and a true pioneer.