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When a U.S. swimmer sank to the bottom of the pool, her coach jumped in to save her


Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes swims towards Anita Alvarez, who sank to the underside of the pool Wednesday through the girls’s solo free inventive swimming finals on the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships.

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Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes swims towards Anita Alvarez, who sank to the underside of the pool Wednesday through the girls’s solo free inventive swimming finals on the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships.

Oli Scarff/AFP by way of Getty Images

U.S. inventive swimmer Anita Alvarez was ending her routine within the solo free remaining on the World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday when the two-time Olympian all of the sudden sank to the underside of the pool, unconscious.

Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes instantly took motion, diving into the water. Fuentes — who received Olympic and world medals for her native Spain — sprinted to succeed in Alvarez, hugged her from behind and kicked off of the pool ground, sending them towards the floor.

“I saw that the lifeguards were not jumping into the water because they were paralyzed. I was shouting at them from the other side to get into the water, now! I saw them looking dumbfounded, so I jumped into the water and straight towards her,” Fuentes mentioned in accordance with El Pais, citing an interview with a Spanish radio station.

“I saw how she was sinking and I swam as fast as I could,” Fuentes added. “I did the fastest freedive of my life, faster than when I was preparing for the Olympics.”

Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes brings Anita Alvarez from the underside of the pool on the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

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Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes brings Anita Alvarez from the underside of the pool on the 2022 World Aquatics Championships in Budapest.

Oli Scarff/AFP by way of Getty Images

The two had been then helped to the aspect of the pool, the place Alvarez was positioned onto a stretcher.

The scary scenario and dramatic rescue prompted an outpouring of concern and admiration for the coach’s fast considering. Fuentes prolonged her thanks on Thursday, saying in a posting on the staff’s Facebook web page that Alvarez is feeling a lot better, with regular very important indicators and oxygen and sugar ranges.

What Alvarez skilled is just like what athletes in different high-endurance sports activities typically undergo, Fuentes mentioned.

“Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them,” she mentioned.

In Budapest, Alvarez, 25, has competed in seven occasions — 4 preliminary swims and three finals — throughout six days. She’s additionally as much as compete in Friday’s free staff remaining — however USA Artistic Swimming says the query of whether or not she’ll swim in that occasion “will be determined by Anita and expert medical staff.”

Team USA swimmer Anita Alvarez is delivered to the floor by coach Andrea Fuentes. “Our sport is no different than others,” Fuentes mentioned, “just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them.”

Oli Scarff/AFP by way of Getty Images


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Oli Scarff/AFP by way of Getty Images


Team USA swimmer Anita Alvarez is delivered to the floor by coach Andrea Fuentes. “Our sport is no different than others,” Fuentes mentioned, “just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them.”

Oli Scarff/AFP by way of Getty Images

Alvarez is a core member of the U.S. inventive swimming squad. She competed for Team USA in Rio and Tokyo; in 2021, she was named USA Artistic Swimming’s athlete of the 12 months.

Alvarez has fainted within the pool earlier than — the truth is, when it occurred eventually summer time’s Olympic qualifiers in Barcelona, it was Fuentes who saved her. Similar to this week, Alvarez was finishing a grueling workload. She later mentioned she was affected by a scarcity of relaxation and situations on the pool.

“I honestly thought I was asleep,” Alvarez said after that ordeal. “I started hearing people saying, ‘It’s going to be OK.’ I thought, ‘Stop telling me that! I’m trying to sleep.’ Then I realized that no, I was still in the pool.”



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