Swimmer, Anita Alvarez, fainted mid-performance, resulting in her trainer having to dive in to rescue her.
Alvarez was representing Team USA in the 2022 FINA World Championships on Wednesday when she suddenly fell unconscious underwater.
Terrified onlookers watched as she sank to the bottom of the pool. Alvarez’s coach, Andrea Fuentes was the first to respond, jumping in to rescue the swimmer, fully clothed, due to the lifeguards allegedly being too slow.
After confirming Alvarez had been given the all-clear by doctors, Fuentes shared her thoughts on the whole ordeal, telling MARCA it was a “big scare.”
She added: “I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it. I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well.”
After lifting Alvarez to the surface on her own, the pair were met by another swimmer who helped Fuentes get her to the edge of the pool where she was lifted out and given medical attention.
The coach later released a statement, revealing she has ordered the athlete to “rest all day” today, she shared: “The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc … all is okay.”
“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. We all have seen images, where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others, help them to get there,” Fuentes continued.
“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. 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.”
According to CBS Sports, Alvarez will be undergoing tests to identify the reason she lost consciousness so suddenly, as it’s not the first time it has happened…
She also fainted back in June 2021, at the end of her routine during the Olympic qualification event, resulting in Fuentes once again jumping in to save her.
It seems her coach could do with a rest today too! We’re glad Alvarez is recovering well.