Two-time Olympian Anita Alvarez had a narrow escape while competing at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on Wednesday. The swimmer fainted midway while performing her solo routine and sank motionless to the bottom of the pool.
Her coach Andrea Fuentes, who was present at the pool side, then jumped into action and averted a tragedy at the world championships swimming competition.
After noticing Alvarez, who lied motionless inside the water, the coach plunged into the water fully clothed. Fuentes then swam towards Alvarez, and rescued the swimmer before another person assisted the coach to get her out of the pool. Alvarez was subsequently given medical attention
“It was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes joked after her heroic gesture.
As per latest developments, the swimmer was feeling much better on Thursday.
“Anita has been evaluated by medical staff and will continue to be monitored. She is feeling much better and using today to rest,” a statement released by USA Artistic Swimming read.
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“Watching yesterday’s medical emergency of 2x Olympian Anita Alvarez and subsequent rescue by coach Andrea Fuentes was heartbreaking for our community. She gave an exceptional solo performance and competed brilliantly in four preliminary and three final competitions across six days,” it read.
“Whether or not she will swim in the free team final on Friday … will be determined by Anita and expert medical staff,” the swimming body further stated.
Alvarez finished seventh in Wednesday’s individual final.
Fuentes also said Alvarez was doing much better in an Instagram post.
“The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc… all is okay,” Fuentes wrote.
“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.”