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Team USA Swimmer Rescued By Coach After Fainting in Pool

Team USA Swimmer Rescued By Coach After Fainting in Pool

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The 2022 World Aquatics Championships took a scary turn when Olympian Anita Alvarez appeared to faint in the pool.

On June 22, the 26-year-old Team USA artistic swimmer was rescued by her swimming coach, Andrea Fuentes, who jumped into the water to save her.

In images captured of the life-saving moment, Alvarez could be seen floating toward the bottom of the pool, seemingly unconscious, after finishing her solo free routine in Budapest, Hungary. Fuentes—who previously won four synchronized swimming Olympic medals for Spain—heroically leapt in the pool and was later photographed pulling the swimmer up to the surface of the water. The coach and an unidentified man then dragged Alvarez to the edge of the pool, where she received medical attention before being taken away on a stretcher, per the Olympic Games website.

“Anita is okay,” Fuentes said in a statement shared on the USA Artistic Swimming Instagram page June 22.

“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports,” she continued. “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.”

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

The coach added, “Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita.” 

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