After fainting in the tragic scene of the FINA World Championships in Budapest, artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was dramatically rescued from the bottom of the pool by the head coach of Team USA.
Andrea Fuentes jumped in to save Alvarez, who had sunk to the bottom of the pool and wasn’t breathing, after fainting at the end of his routine at the Solo Free Final on Wednesday night.
“It was a great horror. I had to dive in because the lifeguard wasn’t doing it,” Fuentes was reported to have said by the Spanish newspaper Marca.
Wearing shorts and a T-shirt instead of swimming equipment, Fuentes jumped to the bottom of the pool, dragged Alvarez to the surface, and then took the affected Americans to the edge of the pool.
“I was scared to see her not breathing, but now she’s very well,” said Fentes, four-time Olympic artistic swimming medalist.
Alvarez was taken on a stretcher to the pool’s medical center, and his teammates and fans seemed shocked by the pool, weeping and comforting each other.
“It was very intense,” Fentes told the AS newspaper. “I think she hadn’t breathed for at least two minutes because her lungs were full of water.
“But we were able to take her to a good place, she spit water, coughed, and that was it, but it was a great horror.”
Fuentes was critical of the slow response of lifeguards at the Aquatic World Championships, which ends on Sunday after a 10-day competition.
“When I saw her sink, I saw the rescue team, but I saw them stunned. They didn’t react,” Fuentes said in the newspaper. Was done.
“I thought,’Are you diving now?’. My reflexes started right away. I’m like that, I just can’t stare.
“I didn’t think too much about it, I jumped. I think it was the crazy and fastest freediving I’ve ever had.
“I picked her up and lifted her up. Obviously she was heavy, so it wasn’t easy.”
The 25-year-old Alvarez, who participated in her third world championship, previously died in competition. She responded similarly to her last year’s Olympic qualifying in Barcelona.
The American art team issued a statement from Fuentes on social media, stating that Alvarez was fainted by the efforts spent during the routine.
“Anita is okay. Doctors check all vitals and everything is normal, including heart rate, oxygen, sugar content, and blood pressure,” Fentes said in a statement.
“We may forget that this happens in other durable sports. Marathon, cycling, cross-country … we all have some athletes not reaching the finish line and others reaching it. I’ve seen images helping with, “she added.
“Our sport is no different than any other sport. In the pool, we push the limits and sometimes find the limits. Anita feels good now and the doctor says she’s okay.
“Tomorrow she will take a break all day and decide with her doctor if she can swim in the free team finals. Best wishes to Anita.”
U.S. swimmer rescued by coach after fainting in the pool
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