Against pediatric cancers, a man breaks the world record for immersion in ice

Sylvie Claire / December 20, 2020


The French Romain Vandendorpe on Saturday in Wattrelos, in the North, broke the world record for immersion in ice, an action in favor of the fight against pediatric cancers, which AFP attended.


Under the control of referees and in front of about fifty people who came to support him, this 34-year-old health professional remained immersed for 2 hours 35 minutes and 43 seconds in a plexiglass cabin filled with ice cubes up to his neck, beating 40 minutes the previous world record.


Mr. Vandendorpe wanted to go beyond human limits to call for donations in favor of the Wonder Augustine association and show that if we train, if we give everything, we can move forward, obtain results that can improve things. Coming out of the ice once the record is broken, Romain Vandendorpe wanted to send a big message to all children who are currently suffering from cancer: we must keep hope.


I am happy for the association, I thought a lot about Augustine. Making the impossible possible, that was the meaning to give to this record, he added.

To achieve this performance, Romain Vandendorpe has developed neuro-cognitive techniques based on imagination and concentration, which allow him to place himself in a waking dream state.


He trained for two years at home, in a jacuzzi filled with cold water then in a 500-liter freezer, and finally in the high-altitude snow in Chamonix, he explained to the journalists present.


Everyone can donate one euro for each minute Romain spent immersed in ice, explained Steeve de Matos, president of the Wonder Augustine Association, which raises funds for brainstem cancer research. This association was founded in Wattrelos two years ago following the death of little Augustine on October 8, 2018 at the age of 4, two months after the diagnosis of this disease.


Mr. Vandendorpe had accompanied Augustine a few days before his death. In addition to funding research, Steeve de Matos hopes with the association to adapt neuro-cognitive techniques to support children with cancer with Mr. Vandendorpe.

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