1:54 PM PDT, June 23, 2022
American swimmer Anita Alvarez was rescued by her coach after fainting in a pool during competition in Budapest, Hungary
Coach Andrea Fuentes then jumped in fully clothed and was caught on underwater cameras as Fuentes was motionless near the bottom of the pool.
The coach was able to pull the Olympian to surface shortly after diving in.
“It was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes posted on social media following the incident.
Fuentes added that “Anita is ok and the doctors also said she is fine. We all know it happens in other sports: cycling, marathon, track and field… some don’t make it to the final line and some even finish crawling or passing out. Our sport is very hard too.”
A medical personnel member also dove in to aid in the rescue.
Alvarez was immediately given medical attention and was feeling much better as of Thursday, USA Today reported.
“Anita has been evaluated by medical staff and will continue to be monitored. She is feeling much better and using today to rest,” USA Artistic Swimming told The Associated Press in a statement.
“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.”
In an interview with Spanish radio broadcaster COPE Thursday, Fuentes said she dove in because the lifeguards did not act quick enough.
“When a swimmer finishes their routine, the first thing they want to do is breathe and so I saw that instead of going up, she was going down and I told myself, ‘Something is going on,'” she said.
This was Alvarez’s third World Championships and has passed out in competition before, last year, she suffered a similar reaction during an Olympic qualifier in Barcelona, according to the New York Post.