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US swimmer faints at World Championships
At the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest, art swimmer Anita Alvarez passed out and had to be saved by Team USA’s head coach from the bottom of the pool. During the solo free final on Wednesday night, Alvarez fell to the bottom of the pool and stopped breathing. Andrea Fuentes jumped in to save him. Fuentes, who was wearing a T-shirt and shorts, jumped into the water and pulled Alvarez to the surface, where a group of people helped him to the edge of the pool. Alvarez was taken to the medical center on a stretcher while his teammates and fans comforted each other. Alvarez, who was 25 at the time, had passed out during a match during her third World Championships. She did the same thing at an Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona last year.
“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,” Fuentes was reported as saying by Spanish newspaper Marca.
“I was scared because I saw she wasn’t breathing, but now she is doing very well,” said Fuentes, a four-time Olympic artistic swimming medallist.
“It was very intense,” Fuentes told AS newspaper. “I think she was at least two minutes without breathing because her lungs were full of water.
“But we were able to take her to a good place, she vomited the water, coughed and that was it, but it was a big scare.”
“When I saw her sinking, I looked at the rescuers, but I saw that they were stunned. They didn’t react,” Fuentes was reported as saying by the newspaper.
“I thought, ‘Will you jump in now?’ My reflexes kicked in quickly. I’m like that, I can’t just stare.
“So I didn’t overthink it, I jumped. I think it was the craziest and fastest free dive I’ve ever done in my career.
“I picked her up and lifted her, obviously she was heavy, it wasn’t easy.”