Anita Alvarez: Swimmer rescued after fainting in pool at World Aquatics Championships

The US swimmer had to be saved by her coach Andrea Fuentes

Lawrence Ostlere
Thursday 23 June 2022 13:25 BST
US swimmer's coach saves her after she fainted in water during World Championships
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An American swimmer had to be rescued from the bottom of the pool by her coach after fainting at the World Aquatics Championships.

Anita Alvarez finished her routine in the artistic solo free final in Budapest when she lost consciousness and began sinking. The 25-year-old’s coach, the four-time Olympic medallist Andrea Fuentes, dived in and carried her back to the surface.

This was the second occasion Alvarez had fainted following a routine, after a similar occured during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona last year where Fuetes again came to the rescue.

“Anita is OK,” Fuentes said. “The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, all is OK.

“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports like 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.

“Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is OK. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not.”

Alvarez is carried towards the surface by her coach Fuentes
Alvarez is carried towards the surface by her coach Fuentes (Getty Images)
Alvarez is placed on to a stretcher poolside
Alvarez is placed on to a stretcher poolside (Reuters)

According to Spanish newspaper Marca, Fuentes said she intervened because “the lifeguards weren’t doing it”. She added: “It was a big scare.”

Alvarez placed seventh in the free solo final.

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