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Wim Hof

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Becoming the Iceman

Olaya Hof (m. ?–1995)

Wim Hof


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20 April 1959 (age 65) (

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Wim Hof (born 20 April 1959) is a Dutch daredevil, commonly nicknamed "The Iceman" for his ability to withstand extreme cold, which he attributes to exposure to cold, meditation and breathing techniques (similar to the Tibetan technique Tummo).


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Wim Hof has set out to spread the potential health benefits of his breathing techniques, working closely with scientists around the world to prove that his techniques work.

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A recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America claims that by consciously hyperventilating, Wim can increase his heart rate, adrenaline levels and blood alkalinity. Wim is also believed to possess much higher levels of brown adipose tissue which aids in cold resistance.

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Early life

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Hof was born in Sittard, Limburg, Netherlands as one of nine children. When he was 17 he was drawn to cold water.


Hof holds 26 world records, including a world record for longest ice bath. Wim describes his ability to withstand extreme cold temperatures as being able to "turn his own thermostat up" through breathing exercises.

2007: He climbed to 6.7 kilometres (22,000 ft) altitude at Mount Everest wearing nothing but shorts and shoes, but failed to reach the summit due to a recurring foot injury.

2008: He broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 seconds at Guinness World Records 2008. The night before, he performed the feat on the Today Show.

2009: In February Hof reached the top of Mount Kilimanjaro in his shorts within two days. Hof completed a full marathon (42.195 kilometres (26.219 mi)), above the arctic circle in Finland, in temperatures close to −20 °C (−4 °F). Dressed in nothing but shorts, Hof finished in 5 hours and 25 minutes. The challenge was filmed by Firecrackerfilms, who make productions for BBC, Channel 4 and National Geographic.

2010: Hof again broke the ice endurance record by standing fully immersed in ice for 1 hour and 44 minutes in Tokyo, Japan.

2011: Hof broke the ice endurance record twice, in Inzell in February and in New York City in November, setting a new Guinness World Record of 1 hour, 52 minutes, and 42 seconds. In September, Hof ran a full marathon in the Namib Desert without water, under the supervision of Dr. Thijs Eijsvogels.

Personal life

Hof has five children, four of them with his first wife who took her own life in 1995, and a son, born in 2003 to his second wife. Hof feels that sadness over the loss of his first wife was formative in leading him to develop techniques to face low temperature environments.


Wim Hof has been blamed by relatives of four men who separately drowned in 2015 and 2016 when practising his breathing exercise. They died after suffering shallow water blackouts in swimming pools. Hof, however, had given warnings on his website, including that his method should be practised "in a safe environment (e.g. sitting on a couch/floor) and unforced. Never ... before or during diving, driving, swimming, taking a bath or any other environment/place where it might be dangerous to faint".


Wim Hof Wikipedia

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