American swimmer Anita Alvarez saved by coach Andrea Fuentes at the world championships

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Two-time Olympic swimmer Anita Alvarez passed out and fell to the bottom of the pool during Wednesday’s Aquatic World Championships in Budapest. Her Team USA coach, Andrea Fuentes, dived to save her, picking up her inert body and running her back to the surface.

A series of photographs captured the dramatic rescue. One image shows Fuentes, fully clothed, reaching out underwater as she attempts to grab the unconscious swimmer. Another shows the intertwined couple as Fuentes leads them both into the air.

Alvarez received urgent medical attention after the rescue.

Following the accident. Fuentes accused the headquarters’ lifeguards of not acting fast enough in the face of danger.

“It was a big scare,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca. “I had to jump because the lifeguards weren’t doing it.”

Alvarez was competing in the women’s solo free final when he stopped breathing, causing widespread concern among his teammates and spectators at the venue and on social media.

In an Instagram update Wednesday, the official U.S. artistic swimming account shared a statement from Fuentes that Alvarez had been thoroughly checked by doctors and was recovering. He thanked people for their good wishes and said the athlete “feels good now”.

“It’s all right,” he wrote, before pointing out the risk that swimmers, like other athletes, run when running.

“We’ve all seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them get there. Our sport is no different from others, only in the pool, “she said.” We push the limits and sometimes we find them.

Alvarez, of Tonawanda, NY, began artistic swimming, more widely known as synchronized swimming until 2017, at the age of 5. She is now considered a skilled veteran and member of Team USA, competing in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games and Tokyo Games 2020, which was rescheduled to 2021 during the pandemic.

Wednesday marked the second time Alvarez, 25, passed out while swimming. It also marks the second time Fuentes intervened to save her.

In Barcelona last year, the swimmer passed out during an Olympics qualifying event, prompting her coach to dive in and pull her out of the water. It’s unclear what caused Alvarez’s collapse, but the sport often requires swimmers to hold their breath.

“By coming into the air only occasionally, artistic swimmers need clean air when they have the opportunity to breathe,” reads the information on the team’s official website.

US artistic swimmers, separated and out of the pool, are still trying to stay in sync

During the coronavirus pandemic, athletes around the world were forced to find alternative training methods, including the US artistic swimming team who were forced to train on their own, sometimes standing upside down in their bedrooms. bed, perfecting leg movements, even though pools nationwide were closed.

Fuentes told the Washington Post that the team has turned to virtual group training, sometimes joined by other international swimmers. Alvarez, he said, taught the group a TikTok dance.

It is unclear whether Alvarez will take part in the team event on Friday. She should be evaluated by the doctors on Thursday.

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