A Champion Swimmer Fainted While Competing Underwater. Her Coach Jumped In For The Rescue.
The swimmer, two-time Olympian Anita Alvarez, is now doing fine.
After a swimmer fainted in the pool at a world championship competition in Budapest on Wednesday, her coach immediately dove in for a dramatic rescue.
Photos of the moment show the coach, four-time Olympic gold medal-winning Spanish swimmer Andrea Fuentes, pulling Anita Alvarez out of the water to safety.
Alvarez — a Team USA artistic swimmer and two-time Olympian — had just finished her solo free routine at the FINA World Aquatic Championships when she fainted and sank to the pool's bottom, according to the Olympics blog.
The 25-year-old's coach, Fuentes, did not hesitate. With her clothes still on, she jumped into the water, dragging her to the surface. She received medical treatment at the side of the pool before being taken away on a stretcher.
Fuentes told Spanish newspaper Marca she made her split-second decision because she "saw that no one, no lifeguard, was diving in."
"I got a little scared because she wasn't breathing, but now she's fine," she said.
Fuentes said in a statement shared by USA Artistic Swimming on Instagram that "doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal."
"We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross country… we all have seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there," Fuentes said. "Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them."
Alvarez will spend Thursday resting and consult her doctor to decide if she can compete in Friday's free team finals, the coach added.