Anita Alvarez, an American swimmer competing at the World Championships is lucky to be alive after she fainted on Wednesday and had to be rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes.
Stunning footage showed Andrea swimming down to the bottom of the pool in Budapest to save the 25-year-old synchronized swimmer who was competing in the final of the women’s solo free event when she fell unconscious.
Andrea dragged her athlete’s motionless body from the bottom of the pool to the surface of the water where she was met by another male swimmer who helped her with getting Alvarez to regain consciousness.
They were able to pull Alvarez out of the pool and she received immediate medical attention. She is said to have recovered and is doing well.
World Championship officials say this is not the first time Alvarez has fainted in the pool during a competition. She also fainted while qualifying for the Olympics in Barcelona in 2022.
Speaking to a Spanish radio station, Andrea said that she realized something was not right when Alvarez went down and didn’t come back up for air like she normally does.
“When a swimmer finishes, the first thing they want to do is breathe,” she said, according to the Daily Mail.
Andrea said when she realized what was going on, she motioned to the lifeguards to help but they didn’t see Alvarez so she decided to jump in the water and save her herself.
“I jumped in myself,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “I went there as fast as I could. I went in even faster than when I was going for Olympic medals.”
Andrea said that Alvarez was not breathing when she first reached her but was able to quickly revive her and checked her for signs of damage to the body.
Andrea said, “Oxygen, glucose, heart, blood pressure, everything’s fine.”
Her coach says Alvarez will rest the day before returning to the pool to swim again in the finals. More on the story below!