Hero coach rescued swimmer after she fainted in pool during championships

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By James Kay

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An artistic swimmer fainted in the pool during the World Aquatics Championship, and her hero coach swiftly dived in to rescue her.

Anita Alvarez, 25, a seasoned competitor participating in her third world championships, had just completed her solo free routine in the championship held in Budapest.

In a startling turn of events, she suddenly lost consciousness and descended to the pool's depths, leaving spectators and fellow athletes stunned.

Witnesses recounted the swift response of Alvarez's coach, Andrea Fuentes, who recognized the emergency and sprang into action. Fully clothed, Fuentes dove into the water, heroically pulling Alvarez to the water's surface and ensuring her safety.

Once back above the waterline, Fuentes, a four-time Olympic artistic swimming medallist, along with the assistance of others, carefully guided Alvarez to the pool's edge, where she could receive the necessary medical attention.

In the aftermath of the incident, Team USA released a statement via social media confirming that Alvarez was in stable condition and on the road to recovery.

"Anita is OK," the coach said in the statement. "The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, all is OK."

This wasn't the first time that Alvarez had passed out in a swimming pool, as during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona the previous year, Fuentes once again leaped into action to ensure Alvarez's safety, as reported by the Guardian.

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Anita Alvarez is rescued from the pool. Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty

However, Fuentes expressed concern over the response time of the lifeguards during the recent incident at the Aquatic World Championships.

"It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren't doing it," Fuentes recounted in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca. "I was scared because I saw she wasn't breathing, but now she is doing very well."

Fuentes further elaborated on the situation, sharing: "It felt like a whole hour. I said things weren't right, I was shouting at the lifeguards to get into the water, but they didn't catch what I said or they didn't understand.

"She wasn't breathing. I went as quickly as I could as if it were an Olympic final."

With Alvarez's well-being at the forefront, Fuentes provided insight into the swimmer's condition and her future plans. "Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not."

Alvarez, recognized as the USA Synchro Athlete of the Year in both 2016 and 2019, had been contending for a medal in her third World Championships. Unfortunately, her performance landed her in seventh place.

Fuentes concluded on a poignant note, reminding us of the shared challenges across high-endurance sports, saying: "We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports - marathon, cycling, cross country.

"We all have seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there. Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them."

We wish Alvarez all the best on her road to recovery.

Featured image credit: Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty

Hero coach rescued swimmer after she fainted in pool during championships

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

An artistic swimmer fainted in the pool during the World Aquatics Championship, and her hero coach swiftly dived in to rescue her.

Anita Alvarez, 25, a seasoned competitor participating in her third world championships, had just completed her solo free routine in the championship held in Budapest.

In a startling turn of events, she suddenly lost consciousness and descended to the pool's depths, leaving spectators and fellow athletes stunned.

Witnesses recounted the swift response of Alvarez's coach, Andrea Fuentes, who recognized the emergency and sprang into action. Fully clothed, Fuentes dove into the water, heroically pulling Alvarez to the water's surface and ensuring her safety.

Once back above the waterline, Fuentes, a four-time Olympic artistic swimming medallist, along with the assistance of others, carefully guided Alvarez to the pool's edge, where she could receive the necessary medical attention.

In the aftermath of the incident, Team USA released a statement via social media confirming that Alvarez was in stable condition and on the road to recovery.

"Anita is OK," the coach said in the statement. "The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, all is OK."

This wasn't the first time that Alvarez had passed out in a swimming pool, as during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona the previous year, Fuentes once again leaped into action to ensure Alvarez's safety, as reported by the Guardian.

size-full wp-image-1263225705
Anita Alvarez is rescued from the pool. Credit: Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty

However, Fuentes expressed concern over the response time of the lifeguards during the recent incident at the Aquatic World Championships.

"It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren't doing it," Fuentes recounted in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca. "I was scared because I saw she wasn't breathing, but now she is doing very well."

Fuentes further elaborated on the situation, sharing: "It felt like a whole hour. I said things weren't right, I was shouting at the lifeguards to get into the water, but they didn't catch what I said or they didn't understand.

"She wasn't breathing. I went as quickly as I could as if it were an Olympic final."

With Alvarez's well-being at the forefront, Fuentes provided insight into the swimmer's condition and her future plans. "Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not."

Alvarez, recognized as the USA Synchro Athlete of the Year in both 2016 and 2019, had been contending for a medal in her third World Championships. Unfortunately, her performance landed her in seventh place.

Fuentes concluded on a poignant note, reminding us of the shared challenges across high-endurance sports, saying: "We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports - marathon, cycling, cross country.

"We all have seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there. Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them."

We wish Alvarez all the best on her road to recovery.

Featured image credit: Nikola Krstic/MB Media/Getty