Oldest diver (Women)
Last updated: December 9, 2019 at 4:13 am
94 — Leni Riefenstahl, Germany (1902-2003) became a diver at age 71 and was awarded the SSI Platinum Pro 5000 Diver Award in 1995 (requires a minimum of 2,500 dives). She released her first underwater documentary Impressionen unter Wasser (Underwater Impressions) on her 100th birthday in 2002. The underwater footage was directed by Riefenstahl between the 1970s and 2000 when she was 98 years old. She made what may have been her last dive at Cocos Island (Costa Rica), where she photographed sharks at the age of 94.
Although Leni Riefenstahl was not a member of the Nazi Party, nor was she ever convicted for her association with the Nazi regime, she was nonetheless declared a Nazi sympathizer (Mitläufer) and thus remained a controversial person until her death in 2003. The present post is thus only meant to acknowledge the record-setting latter part of her artistic and diving careers.
Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.