US Swimmer Who Fainted In Pool And Was Saved By Coach Banned From World Championships

By Samantha in Sports On 24th June 2022

American synchronized swimmer Anita Alvarez, 25, was hoping to be a part of the team finals following her pool rescue on Wednesday.

Alvarez was saved dramatically by her Spanish coach who saved her from drowning and was confident Anita would continue to represent her country following tests.

But the International Swimming Federation decided she should not compete.

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Andrea Fuentes was filmed diving into the pool fully clothed and with the help of another swimmer, she dragged Alvarez out as lifeguards watched on after she passed out in the water during a solo performance.

She said: “She doesn’t want to leave here with the photo of her unconscious at the bottom of the pool.

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“In any case in the team events Anita does a lot of pirouettes and very few apneas so she will almost certainly compete.”

FINA officials in Spain stated that the American synchronized swimming team Anita could take no further part in the World Championships.

The decision was made just hours ahead of the team event this afternoon.

There is yet to be any official reaction given from the swimmer's side or her mom-of-one coach, who won four Olympic and 16 World Championship medals.

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Alvarez is reportedly believed to have gone at least 2 minutes without breathing underwater.

Spanish sports daily AS said Bela Merkely, the head of the Hungarian medical service, told local media ahead of the FINA ban decision: “There are different types of athletes. Some tolerate well the variations in the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide.

"But others are more sensitive. She is one of them. This sport is probably not one for her.”

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Alvarez's coach hinted the swimmer was due to make a triumphant return to the pool in Budapest.

Fuentes posted footage on Instagram showing members of the American synchronized swimming team clapping and smiling as a doctor explained the results of tests on Anita.

She wrote alongside the footage: “Team doctor explaining the results of tests of @anitaalvarez."

There was a round of applause that accompanied the footage of the medic addressing team members seemed to leave little doubt the test results had been positive.

Alvarez also broke her silence regarding the incident in an interview with NBC Nightly News to hail Andrea’s actions.

She said: “I mean I say this all the time to her and to other people, [I’m] just so grateful to have her as a coach.

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“When I found out she was coming to be our coach, it was like, I didn't believe it.”

Of the incident, she added: “I remember feeling like it was a really great performance.

“Like, my best one by far and not only just how I performed but just that I was actually enjoying it and really living in the moment too.


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"So, because of that I feel really happy and really proud. And then at the very end, I do remember like the very last arm I did, I gave like, it's such a simple small arm,.

"But I was like give everything until the very end and I did that and then I remember going down and just being like, kind of like, ‘uh-oh, I don't feel too great.’

“And that's literally the last thing I remember actually.”


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