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Coach, former Olympian saves U.S. swimmer Anita Alvarez from drowning

USA swimming national team coach Andrea Fuentes (L) and an unidentified man help swimmer Anita Alvarez (C) from the pool after she fainted during the women's free final of artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Championships on Wednesday at Alfred Hajos National Pool Complex in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Zsolt Szigetvary/EPA-EFE
USA swimming national team coach Andrea Fuentes (L) and an unidentified man help swimmer Anita Alvarez (C) from the pool after she fainted during the women's free final of artistic swimming at the 19th FINA World Championships on Wednesday at Alfred Hajos National Pool Complex in Budapest, Hungary. Photo by Zsolt Szigetvary/EPA-EFE

June 23 (UPI) -- Coach and former Spanish Olympian Andrea Fuentes took quick action, diving into a pool to save Team USA artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez after she lost consciousness at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary.

The incident occurred Wednesday at Alfred Hajos National Pool Complex. USA Artistic Swimming, the governing body of the sport in the United States, said Thursday that Alvarez is now resting and will continue to be monitored.

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Alvarez, 25, reposted several of the medical updates Wednesday and Thursday on her Instagram story.

"Anita is OK -- the doctors checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc.," Fuentes said Wednesday in a statement.

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Alvarez lost consciousness at the end of her solo routine. She then sank slowly to the bottom of the pool. Fuentes watched as no lifeguards immediately responded.

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She then dove into the water fully clothed, grabbed Alvarez and carried her while she swam to the side of the pool. Fuentes and an unidentified man then lifted the Amherst, N.Y., native onto the pool deck, where she was helped by medics and put on a stretcher.

"We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports; Marathon, cycling, cross country," said Fuentes, the senior head coach for the USA artistic swim team. "We all have seen images where some athletes don't make it to the finish line and others help them to get there.

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"Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool. We push through limits and sometimes we find them."

Alvarez finished seventh in the event. Japan's Yukiko Inui, Ukraine's Marta Fiedina and Greece's Evangelia Platanioti won respective gold, silver and bronze medals.

Fuentes, 39, did not rule Alvarez out from the free team finals Friday in Budapest. She posted a video Thursday to her Instagram story, which showed Alvarez smiling at a table while with her teammates.

Fuentes, who won two silver medals at the 2008 Summer Games and silver and bronze medals at the 2012 Summer Games, also helped to save Alvarez at an Olympic qualifying event last year in Spain.

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She lost consciousness at the end of that pairs routine. Her partner, Lindi Schroeder, teamed up with Fuentes to rescue Alvarez during that incident.

Alvarez competed in the 2016 Summer Games and 2020 Summer Games, where she finished ninth and 13th, respectively, in her events.

She was the 2021 USA Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year.

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