Swimmer Faints In Pool At World Championships, Coach Saves Her

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Incredible scenes at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary. American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez was competing in the Solo Final when she lost consciousness and began to sink to the bottom of the pool.

As the stunned crowd looked on, none of the lifeguards in charge at the event reacted. Anita’s coach, Andrea Fuentes jumped to her feet and dove in the pool to save the swimmer. “It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,” Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca.

Fuentes was able to get Alvarez to the surface where more help arrived.

Alvarez was unconscious and not breathing. Her coach explained the situation to AS Newspaper, “It was very intense,” Fuentes said, “I think she was at least two minutes without breathing because her lungs were full of water. But we were able to take her to a good place, she vomited the water, coughed and that was it, but it was a big scare.”

Artistic swimmers push the limits on how long they can go without taking a breath. The USA Artistic team released a statement from Fuentes on social media that said in part, ” Anita is okay— the doctors checked all vitals, and everything is normal. 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 other help them to get there.” The statement 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 OK.”

The team announced that Anita will rest on Thursday, and then the team and the team doctor will decide if she can swim the free team finals on Friday.

Written by Bill Graff

Lifelong fan of all things sports and of common sense. I watch a lot of sports, just ask my wife. Go Terps. I've got soul, but I'm not a soldier.


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