It is with great sadness that Aida Belgium has learned the sudden passing of Carla Hanson, president of AIDA International.
Our thoughts are with her family, friends and all who knew her.

A few weeks before she passed away, DeeperBlue.com did an interview with Carla which which you can read here in honor of her memory.

We would also like to share below the statement released by Aida International:

Sadly, Carla Sue Hanson, our president, lost her fight with cancer.

Her smile, charm and kindness won over freedivers all around the world. She was the soul of our beautiful sport. A strong woman and a professional she worked tirelessly over the last decade to change the image of AIDA International and freediving.

An competitive swimmer, she learned freediving in 2008 at Dean’s Blue Hole. Once caught, the passion for freediving never left her. First a coach, a judge, in 2010, she took charge of Aida International’s communication. She became the voice of the association, giving it a strong, positive and reasonable voice.
When she was elected President of AIDA International in 2016 she pushed the organisation forward with professionalism. Vocale advocate for security, she worked hard to improve regulations and also bring competitive freediving to a broader public.

She was a volunteer, as many, and always had time for our sport. A respected judge she travelled around the world to judge competitions but also advised organisers. Recently she also worked on CMAS competition sharing experiences, learnings and bridging the gap between the organisations.

She believed in leading by example and with grace. She leaves us with a strong legacy and will be forever remembered.

As Vertical blue said it: ‘She was a “second mother” to so many athletes, an athlete herself, one of the most requested AIDA judge, president of AIDA itself, a coach, swimmer, spearfisher, and a friend/confidante to pretty much the entire tribe of underwater breath-holders.’

Our thoughts are with her family.

We love you Carla Sue. Thank you.

RIP Madame president ❤