Those were scary moments for everyone at Margaret Island’s swimming complex, where the art majors take place. Anita Alvarez stopped breathing after her free solo workout and sank to the bottom.
Her coach Andrea Fuentes saw the danger and quickly jumped into the water to save Alvarez.
“We were so scared. I jumped into the water because the lifeguards didn’t. They didn’t understand my crying,” Fuentes, a four-time Olympic medalist, told Spanish sports newspaper Marca. “I swam as fast as I could, as if it was an Olympic final.”
Fuentes, in shorts and a T-shirt, sank to the bottom and recovered the unhappy swimmer. Meanwhile, another man jumped into the bathroom to help the bus. The two placed the drowned person at the edge of the pond.
“I was afraid, because I saw that she was not breathing. But now everything is fine again,” she seemed at last relieved.
Alvarez was taken on a stretcher to the hospital medical center, shocking her teammates and spectators.
A little later, a reassuring statement came out from the US swimming team.
According to Fuentes, Alvarez will rest today and hopes to take part in Friday’s team competition, although she will then have to get the go-ahead from doctors.
For Alvarez, this was her third world championship, taking seventh place in the final.
It is not ready for testing. Last year, she often passed out during the Olympic qualifiers in Barcelona.
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