A scary moment occurred at the 2022 World Aquatics Championships on Wednesday as U.S. artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez fainted in the pool at the end of her free solo routine in Budapest.
Two people dove in to help her out of the pool, one of which was her coach Andrea Fuentes, and she is said to be OK following the incident.
“Anita is okay – the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc… all is okay,” Fuentes said in a statement from USA Artistic Swimming.
“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. 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 okay.”
Images show Fuentes, a former Spanish Olympic artistic swimmer, grabbing Alvarez at the bottom of the pool and pulling her up to the surface.
Your holy moly moment of the day: 😳
Anita Alvarez’s coach had to jump in and save her after she fainted.
— J.J. Adams (@TheRealJJAdams) June 22, 2022
American synchronized swimmer Anita Alvarez faints and sinks to bottom of the pool during World Championships. Her coach, Andrea Fuentes, heroically dives in and saves her. Alvarez is recovering well. pic.twitter.com/ne369qFUhg
— Mike Sington (@MikeSington) June 23, 2022
“It was a good scare, I had to dive because the lifeguards didn’t do it,” Fuentes said, according to Spanish newspaper Marca. “I was scared because I could see she wasn’t breathing, but she’s feeling great now, she’s at her best.”
At an Olympic qualification event last year, Alvarez briefly lost consciousness at the end of a routine, leading Fuentes to dive into the pool to help.
According to CBS affiliate in Buffalo, near Alvarez’s hometown, her mom said after the event that it has happened to her before outside of competition.
Alvarez, 25, is a two-time U.S. Olympian, competing in the women’s duet event at both the 2016 and 2020 Olympic Games. She is a two-time Pan American Games bronze medalist and was entered to compete in six different events at these 2022 World Championships.
She placed seventh in the free solo routine she completed just prior to losing consciousness.