American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez will not be able to compete in the team finals at the World Championships today, 48 hours after she was dragged unconscious from the pool.
Alvarez passed out during her individual routine in Budapest on Wednesday afternoon, June 22, and had to be dramatically rescued by her coach, Andrea Fuentes.
The swimmer had hoped to compete in the final today, but the International Swimming Federation banned her just hours before the event was due to start.
This comes after coach Fuentes said the four Olympic medals and 16 World Cup medals stood a good chance of representing her country after tests.
Fuentes revealed that Alvarez stopped breathing for “at least two minutes” during the ordeal following her performance in the women’s solo free event.
Alvarez regained consciousness after being pulled from the water, received immediate first aid and is reportedly making a good recovery.
She broke her silence on her latest ordeal at night in an interview with NBC Nightly News, praising Fuentes’ actions.
She said, ‘I mean, I say this to her and to other people all the time, (I’m) just so grateful to have her as a coach. When I heard she was going to be our coach, I didn’t believe it.’
About the incident, she added: “I remember thinking it was a great performance. Like by far my best and not just how I performed but just that I really enjoyed it and also really lived in the moment. So that’s why I feel really happy and very proud.
And then at the very end, I remember the very last arm I did, I gave like, it’s such a simple little arm. But I was like giving it all to the end and I did and then I remember going down and just kind of, ‘uh-oh, I don’t feel so great. And that’s literally the last thing I remember.’
At a 2021 Olympic qualifying event in Barcelona 2021, Fuentes also rescued the swimmer after she was filmed diving in and pulling her to safety when she passed out in the pool.
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