BUDAPEST, Hungary ( Associated Press) — Andrea Fuentes averted tragedy at the World Swimming Championships with her quick response.
The US coach knew something was wrong when she saw artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez sink motionless to the bottom of the pool during a singles free skate on Wednesday.
Fully dressed, Fuentes dived. She swam up to the unconscious Alvarez, hugged her and lifted her to the surface of the water, where another person helped her out of the pool.
Alvarez, a two-time Olympic champion, collapsed.
“It was her best performance, she just went beyond her limits and found them,” Fuentes joked.
Alvarez, who received immediate medical attention, felt much better on Thursday.
“Anita has been examined by medical personnel and will continue to be monitored. She is feeling much better and is using today to relax,” USA Artistic Swim said in a statement.
“Watching two-time Olympian Anita Alvarez’s emergency medical treatment yesterday and subsequent rescue by coach Andrea Fuentes was heartbreaking for our community. She delivered an exceptional solo performance and performed brilliantly in four preliminary and three final competitions in six days.”
Alvarez finished seventh in the individual final on Wednesday.
“Whether or not she swims in the free skate final on Friday … will be decided by Anita and experienced medical staff,” USA Artistic Swimming said.
Fuentes also said that Alvarez is feeling much better in the Instagram post..
“The doctors checked all the vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc… everything is in order,” wrote Fuentes. “We sometimes forget that this happens in other endurance sports. Marathons, cycling, cross-country running… we’ve all seen footage of some athletes not making it to the finish line while others help them get there. Our sport is no different, it’s just that in the pool we overcome limitations and sometimes we find them.”
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