After fainting in the pool, a member of Team USA was rescued by her coach at the World Championships
Olympian Anita Alvarez’s apparent fainting at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships was a terrifying moment.
The 26-year-old Team USA artistic swimmer was saved by her coach, Andrea Fuentes, when Fuentes dove into the water to retrieve her on June 22.
Immediately following the completion of her solo free performance in Budapest, Hungary, Alvarez was seen sinking toward the bottom of the pool, appearing unconscious, in photos that would later save her life. Fuentes—who previously won four synchronised swimming Olympic gold for Spain—heroically leaped in the pool and was subsequently pictured dragging the swimmer up to the top of the water. According to the Olympic Games website, the coach and an unnamed guy carried Alvarez to the poolside, where she got medical assistance before being taken away on a stretcher.
“Anita is okay,” Fuentes stated in a message released on the USA Artistic Swimming Instagram page June 22.
“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports,” she continued. “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.”
The coach said, “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. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita.”