CORNÈR BANK presents legendary freediver, author & motivational speaker


Passion, perseverance and humility, just a few of the words that seem to define Umberto Pelizzari, an Italian freediver, widely considered among the best of all time. Umberto Pelizzari will be the featured speaker at an exclusive client event presented by Cornèr Bank Bahamas later this year under the theme, “Impossible is an Opinion. A Night of Inspiration.”

“Umberto’s story of perseverance, introspection and triumph is timely, it reminds us that with the right mindset and strategy, we can often do so much more than we think, a valuable lesson at all times and certainly as we continue to navigate the many global uncertainties facing the world today,” explained Christine Russell, Chief Executive Officer for Cornèr Bank Bahamas.

“We are very excited to present Umberto Pelizzari and allow him to share his story and impart lessons from his inspiring career and life. This will be a unique and intimate event of storytelling, motivation and networking. At Cornèr, we understand that people are going through many different situations, some are financial, but many are mental, stemming from the pressures of everyday life. We are hopeful that Umberto’s story may provide insights on navigating and overcoming the challenges that we all face on this journey of life.”

Of his era, Umberto is the sole person to have established world records in all the then existing disciplines of freediving and is credited with furthering the limits of what was considered to be humanly possible within freediving. In 2001, Pelizzari retired from competitive freediving, holding the world records in Constant Weight, Variable Weight and No Limits, all the disciplines of freediving that existed at that time.

While he still dives, Umberto spends a lot of his time as a trainer and coach at Apnea Academy, a highly respected freediving education association, of which he is a co-founder, and as a motivational speaker. During a recent interview, Umberto explained that he’s been to The Bahamas many times as a freediver but never as a speaker and is very happy to be returning in this capacity.

Joking that he’s by no means an ‘old wise man’ Umberto offered, “I’m looking forward to sharing parts of my personal story; I will talk about how to surpass limits, sharing from my experiences within my discipline and sport about how I overcame the barriers and limits that medicine said were impossible to get passed. I think that sometimes we create our own limits and I believe we can shift our minds in this area to expand what is possible.”

Highlighting that there are many parallels between competitive freediving and the business world, Umberto pointed to the importance of teamwork for achieving success. He shared that as a freediver, he is never alone in the water and that teamwork has been critical to his accomplishments, explaining that there are many persons behind that scenes that contribute to winning, as a world-record holder.

Umberto shared, “Sometimes problems arise when it seems that you are very close to achieving your goals that seem to undo your previous progress. How do you get passed these issues?” He promised to share insights on the importance of sacrifice, goal setting and strategy to accomplishing one’s goals.

When asked what kept him motivated to keep breaking all the limits, Umberto described, “In any sport, you must have to have an energy and motivation connected to your discipline to be better and better. In freediving, I always wanted to go deeper and deeper. I believe that everyone has an element of being a ‘no-limits man’. Continual improvement is a part of human nature, it’s actually the story of evolution, becoming better and better. This is true in sports, in business, in everyday life and of course, in my case for deep freediving.”

Mrs. Russell concluded, “We see Umberto’s story like ours. To be the best in the world, you have to be determined and have a ‘can-do’ mindset. Freediving requires a will to get it done, and an unwavering focus to achieve deeper depths. We believe that it requires you to want more for yourself and this is the same with Cornèr Bank. Whether by being the leading credit card provider in Switzerland, or being ranked number one for capital soundness or being awarded the best private bank in The Bahamas for two consecutive years by the Investor Magazine, we are a bank that is determined and committed to providing our clients with the best innovative products and services that we can.”