Coach rescues US artistic swimmer after she passed out in pool during world championships


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The coach of American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez reportedly sprang into action on Wednesday when the athlete passed out while performing at the World Championships.

Coach Andrea Fuentes dove into the pool with all his clothes on and caught Alvarez sinking to the bottom of the pool. When she brought the swimmer to the edge of the pool with the help of another person, Alvarez was not breathing.

Coach Andrea Fuentes (R) rescues American Anita Alvarez (L), from the bottom of the pool to save her after she passed out at the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022.
(Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)

Alvarez had just completed his solo freestyle event at the competition in Budapest.

Fuentes called Alvarez’s swimming “the best performance ever” in an Instagram post on Wednesday night, adding, “she just pushed her limits and she found them.”

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Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical treatment during the women's solo freestyle final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on June 22, 2022

Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical treatment during the women’s solo freestyle final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary on June 22, 2022
(REUTERS/Lisa Leutner)

The coach noted that athletes sometimes faint or barely finish races in running and cycling. “Our sport is very tough too.”

Alvarez plans to compete in Friday’s team event, Fuentes said, according to The Guardian.

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Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical attention during the women's solo freestyle final.

Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical attention during the women’s solo freestyle final.
(REUTERS/Lisa Leutner)

“It was a big scare,” Fuentes reportedly told Spanish newspaper Marca. “I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she’s fine.”

Anita Alvarez of the United States performs during the Women's Solo Freestyle Preliminary at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

Anita Alvarez of the United States performs during the Women’s Solo Freestyle Preliminary at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.
(REUTERS/Marton Monus)

Alvarez is competing in her third world championships and Fuentes is believed to have already dived into the competition pool when she passed out.

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“I’ve seen it before,” his mother told WIVB-TV after watching Alvarez pass out during Olympic qualifying a year ago. “Never competed, though. I knew straight away. On their last item, I could tell something was wrong.”


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