Reported by the AP.
By TARA BURGHART, Associated Press Writer 2 hours, 25 minutes ago
CHICAGO - set a new world record Wednesday for breath-holding — 17 minutes and 4 seconds — fulfilling what he said was "a lifelong dream."
The feat was broadcast live during " " and the studio audience cheered as divers pulled the 35-year-old magician from a water-filled sphere 8 feet in diameter. Less than two years ago, Blaine went into convulsions during a similar attempt.
"A lifelong dream," a relaxed-looking Blaine told Winfrey immediately after setting the record. "I can't believe that I did that."
While still underwater, Blaine worried his heart rate might be too high, saying he "actually started to doubt that I was going to make it" as a result. A lower heart rate helps minimize oxygen consumption.
The previous record was 16 minutes and 32 seconds, set Feb. 10 by 's Peter Colat, according to .
Before he entered the sphere, Blaine inhaled pure oxygen through a mask to saturate his blood with oxygen and flush out carbon dioxide. Guinness says up to 30 minutes of so-called "oxygen hyperventilation" is allowed under its guidelines.
In May 2006, as a finale to a week spent in an aquarium with an oxygen mask at , Blaine tried to set a new breath-holding record. Without breathing pure oxygen beforehand, he tried to break the existing record of 8 minutes, 58 seconds for an attempt of that type.
But he had to be rescued shortly after 7 minutes when he was unconscious and having convulsions.
Blaine has said he was fascinated by holding his breath since he was a child, using the skill to excel in swimming races at a YMCA in the , only needing to breathe when turning at the wall for another lap.
The endurance specialist has spent more than a month suspended in a glass box by the River Thames in , was buried alive for a week in a see-through coffin in New York City, and was encased in a block of ice for 63 hours, also in Manhattan.