American swimmer Anita Alvarez saved by coach Andrea Fuentes at the World Championships

Placeholder while loading article actions

Two-time Olympic swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted and sank to the bottom of a swimming pool during the World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday in Budapest. Her Team USA coach, Andrea Fuentes, dived to the rescue, lifting her limp body and thrusting her to the surface of the water.

A series of photos captured the dramatic rescue. One photo shows Fuentes, fully clothed, extending her hand under the water as she tries to grab the unconscious swimmer. The last of the pair appears entangled as Fuentes guides them for air.

Alvarez received urgent medical attention after the rescue.

after the accident. Fuentes accused the rescuers on the scene of not acting fast enough in the face of danger.

“It was very scary,” Fuentes told Spain’s Marca newspaper. “I had to jump because the rescuers didn’t.”

Alvarez was competing in the women’s singles freestyle final when she stopped breathing, sparking widespread concern among her teammates, spectators at the venue and on social media.

In an Instagram update on Wednesday, USA Swimming’s tech account shared a statement from Fuentes saying that Alvarez had been thoroughly examined by doctors and that he was recovering. She thanked people for their good wishes and said the athlete was “feeling happy now”.

“All is well,” she wrote, before highlighting the risks that swimmers, like other athletes, face while performing.

“We’ve all seen pictures where some athletes don’t reach the finish line and others help them get there. Our sport is no different, just in the pool,” she said. “We push across the border and sometimes we find it.”

Alvarez, of Tonawanda, New York, started artistic swimming, widely known as synchronized swimming until 2017, at the age of five. She is now considered a skilled veteran and a member of Team USA, who participated in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and in the Tokyo 2020 Games, which have been rescheduled to 2021 amid the pandemic.

Wednesday was the second time Alvarez, 25, had fainted while swimming. It’s also the second time Fuentes has jumped to save her.

And in Barcelona last year, a swimmer fainted during one of the Olympics qualifiers, prompting her coach to dive into the water and pull her out of the water. The cause of Alvarez’s collapse remains unclear, but the sport often requires swimmers to hold their breath.

“When out for air only occasionally, technical swimmers need clean air when they have the opportunity to breathe,” reads the information on the team’s official website.

American art swimmers, separated from pool, are still trying to stay in sync

During the coronavirus pandemic, athletes around the world have been forced to find alternative training methods, including the US technical swimming team forced to train alone, sometimes standing on their heads in their bedrooms – to perfect their leg movements – even when swimming pools all over the country. Closed.

Fuentes told the Washington Post that the team has switched to virtual group exercises, sometimes joined by other international swimmers. She said Alvarez taught the group the Tik Tok dance.

It remains unclear if Alvarez will take part in Friday’s team event. She is scheduled to be examined by doctors Thursday.

Leave a Comment