US Swimmer Rescued From Pool Bottom at Championships

Anita Alvarez said to be feeling fine after rescue by coach Andrea Fuentes
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 23, 2022 8:13 AM CDT
US Swimmer Sinks in 'Big Scare' at World Championships
Anita Alvarez of United States is carried on stretcher after collapsing during the solo free final of the artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on Wednesday.   (AP Photo/Anna Szilagyi)

(Newser) – A US competitor at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, Hungary, had to be rescued from the bottom of the swimming pool, where she sank after completing an artistic swimming routine Tuesday. Underwater photos captured fully-clothed coach Andrea Fuentes diving to the bottom of the pool where 25-year-old Anita Alvarez's limp body was kneeling, before pulling her to the surface. A male lifeguard then joined her in keeping Alvarez's head above the water before she was moved to a stretcher, per CNN. "It was a big scare," Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca, per the Guardian. "I saw she was not breathing."

She had water in her lungs, but "once she started breathing again everything was OK," Fuentes said. "The doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal," she added in a statement, per the BBC. It was deja vu as Fuentes also pulled Alvarez from the pool when she fainted after a routine in Spain last year. Alvarez's mother then told WIVB that she had "seen it happen to her before" though "never in competition." "This happens in other high-endurance sports," Fuentes said. "Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them." Alvarez, who finished seventh, will converse with a doctor before deciding whether to compete in Friday's team free finals, Fuentes said. (Read more swimming stories.)

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