Jun 23, 2022 - Sports

Team USA coach rescues unconscious swimmer from pool at World Aquatics Championships

Fuentes swimming toward Alvarez as she sank to the bottom of the pool.
USA Coach Andrea Fuentes (right) swims toward Anita Alvarez after she fainted at the end of the women's solo free artistic swimming finals during the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. Photo: Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty

Team USA Artistic swimmer and two-time Olympian Anita Alvarez was rescued by her coach after she fainted while in the pool during the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday.

Driving the news: Alvarez lost consciousness in the pool and began sinking to the bottom toward the end of her solo routine, causing Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes to jump in and rescue her, per Reuters.

Catch up fast: Photos showed Fuentes, still wearing a T-shirt and shorts, swimming toward Alvarez as she sank toward the bottom of the pool.

  • Fuentes and an unidentified man then helped get Alvarez to the surface, according to photos.
  • Alvarez was given medical attention and taken away on a stretcher, Reuters reported.

The big picture: It is the second time Fuentes has rescued Alvarez. The swimmer also fainted during an Olympic qualification event last year, according to Reuters.

What they're saying: "Watching yesterday’s medical emergency of 2x Olympian Anita Alvarez and subsequent rescue by coach Andrea Fuentes was heartbreaking for our community," USA Artistic Swimming said in its statement.

  • "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," Fuentes said, per USA Artistic Swimming's Instagram post.
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