USA Swimmer Anita Alvarez Saved by Coach Andrea Fuentes After Fainting in Pool

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVJune 23, 2022

BUDAPEST, HUNGARY - JUNE 20: Anita Alvarez of Team United States competes in the Artistic Swimming Women's Solo Free Preliminaries on day four of the Budapest 2022 FINA World Championships at Alfred Hajos National Aquatics Complex on June 20, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Team USA artistic swimming coach Andrea Fuentes saved American swimmer Anita Alvarez from drowning Wednesday at the FINA World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, after Alvarez fainted in the pool at the conclusion of her solo free final routine.

According to Reuters, it marked the second time Fuentes had saved Alvarez from the pool after fainting, as it previously occurred last year during Olympic qualifying.

AFP News Agency @AFP

Rapid rescue.<a href="https://twitter.com/AFP?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@AFP</a> photographers Oli Scarff and Peter Kohalmi capture the dramatic rescue of USA's Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool when she fainted during the women's solo free artistic swimming finals at the Budapest 2022 World Aquatics Championships <a href="https://t.co/8Y0wo6lSUn">pic.twitter.com/8Y0wo6lSUn</a>

Fuentes, who is from Spain, said the following about the scary moment and Alvarez's status in an interview with Spanish newspaper Marca: "Anita is much better, she is already at her best. It was a good scare, to be honest. I jumped into the water again because I saw that no one, no lifeguard, was jumping in. I got a little scared because she wasn't breathing, but now she's fine. She has to rest."

The United States artistic swimming team subsequently released a statement on Instagram, with Fuentes saying that Alvarez will rest all day Thursday before deciding if she can swim in the team finals.

Alvarez, a 25-year-old from Buffalo, New York, competed in the women's duet at both the 2016 and 2020 Summer Olympics.

While she has yet to medal at the Olympics or the world championships, she does have a pair of bronze medals to her credit in the women's duet and women's team events at the 2019 Pan American Games.

The 39-year-old Fuentes was a highly decorated synchronized swimmer in her own right, competing at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics for Spain.

She won four Olympic medals during her career, with two silvers in 2008 and a silver and a bronze in 2012.

Fuentes also has 16 world championship medals to her credit, including gold in the free routine combination at the 2009 world championships in Rome.

On Wednesday, Alvarez finished seventh in the solo free final as the only American in the field, while Japan's Yukiko Inui won gold.