American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was involved in a terrifying moment during the World Aquatic Championships being held in Budapest, Hungary.
Per the Associated Press (h/t ESPN) and The Athletic, coach Andrea Fuentes saved Alvarez from drowning after the swimmer sunk to the bottom of the pool following her solo free routine on Wednesday. The fully clothed Fuentes dove into the water and, with the help of another person, ultimately pulled the unresponsive Alvarez to safety.
It was determined Alvarez fainted as she did at last summer’s Olympic qualifiers in Barcelona, according to Bill Chappell of NPR. Fuentes also played the hero role following that incident.
« Anita suffered another medical emergency, similar to last year at qualifiers, at the conclusion of her swim, » Fuentes explained in a statement shared by The Athletic. « We’ll provide an update from Anita when she has had the chance to rest and be fully evaluated by medical staff. Until then, we are celebrating seven amazing performances by her across five days of competition. »
USA Artistic Swimming told the AP that Alvarez was « feeling much better » and resting on Thursday.
« 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, » USA Artistic Swimming added.
It’s unknown if Alvarez will participate in the free team final on Friday.