American Artistic Swimmer Anita Alvarez Rescued By Coach After Fainting During Competition

Team United States USA Team Technical Preliminary Artistic Swimming FINA 19th World Championships Budapest 2022 Budapest, Alfred Hajos Complex 19/06/22 Photo Andrea Masini / Deepbluemedia / Insidefoto

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American Artistic Swimmer Anita Alvarez Faints During Competition, Saved by Coach

The artistic swimming competition at the 2022 FINA World Championships was the site of a dramatic scene when American Anita Alvarez fainted during competition and had to be rescued by a coach.

Alvarez lost consciousness during the American’s routine in the solo free final in Budapest. Coach Andrea Fuentes leapt in the pool to rescue her.

Alvarez was treated pool side and take away on a stretcher. She has lost consciousness in the pool before, needing to be rescued during an Olympic qualification event in 2021.

“Anita is much better, she is already at her best,” Fuentes, who is Spanish, told sporting newspaper Marca. “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 images from the incident, captured by Agence France Press, are harrowing.

U.S. Artistic Swimming posted a statement on Instagram calling the incident “heartbreaking.” They added that, “Anita has been evaluated by medical staff and will continue to be monitored. She is already feeling much better and using today to rest. Whether or not she will compete in the free team final on Friday, June 24th will be determined by Anita and expert medical staff.”

Alvarez, 25, is a native of New York. A two-time Olympian, she won a pair of bronze medals for the U.S. at 2019 Pan Am Games. She had competed in seven sessions over four days at Worlds in Budapest, finishing seventh in the individual event.