Coach Saves Swimmer From Drowning at World Championships in Budapest

Pool Magazine

On the opening day of the international swimming championships in Budapest, Andrea Fuentes averted a tragedy. The hero coach saved swimmer Anita Alvarez after she passed out while competing at a swimming competition.

At the end of her solo free routine, Spain's four-time Olympian Fuentes observed American Anita Alvarez sinking lifeless to the bottom of the pool and dove in the water to save her.

Fuentes, a U.S. swimming coach who has worked with Alvarez on two previous occasions, dove in after seeing the two-time Olympian unresponsive in the water. Alvarez needed assistance getting out of the water, so someone else stepped in.

Alvarez had collapsed in the sea and was attended to by rescue workers who were waiting nearby. According to Reuters, she was hauled away on a stretcher. As of Thursday, USA Swimming said she was "much better" and Fuentes said the same in a Spanish media interview. According to Reuters,

"Anita is already at her peak, and she's getting better all the time." "To be honest, it was a good scare," Fuentes added.

"“I jumped into the water because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was diving in,” she said, "I was worried when she stopped breathing, but she's well now. She needs to take a break." Fuentes told news sources.
Swimmer Anita Alvarez Saved By Heroic Coach Andrea FuentesOli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Oli Scarff of the AFP was one among the photographers at the World Championships who photographed the rescue.

In the hours following her rescue, Alvarez, 25, shared photographs from her daily routine on her Instagram Stories page. She came in seventh place in the individual competition. According to Reuters, this is Fuentes' second time rescuing Alvarez. In 2021, Fuentes saved her and her swimming partner Lindi Schroeder from drowning at an Olympic qualifying event.
Alvarez Received Medical Attention After Being Rushed To HospitalOli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Alvarez's condition for Friday's competition will be decided by the swimmer and her medical team, USA Artistic Swimming said in a statement.

"Watching yesterday's medial emergency of two-time Olympian Anita Alvarez was heartbreaking for our community," the group said in a statement.. This will be Anita's fourth and final appearance at the 2022 FINA World Championships, and she performed admirably in all six days of competition.

We'll keep an eye on Anita going forward," said the doctor who examined her. As a result, she has decided to take the day off to recuperate. Anita and the medical staff will decide whether or not she will compete in the free team final on Friday, June 24th."

After praising the team's performance and choreography, Fuentes also mentioned the rescue on Instagram.

Fuentes remarked, "Anita's solo was so wonderful too, it was her best performance ever, she just pushed beyond her limits and she found them. Doctors have confirmed that Anita is healthy, and she is responding well to treatment. Cycling, marathons, and track and field are all examples of other activities where people don't make it to the finish line or even finish crawling or passing out. This is also an extremely difficult sport. It's time to wind down and recharge your batteries now. Free duet finals are scheduled for tomorrow, so don't miss out! Our best is at the ready.

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