American swimmer rescued by coach from bottom of swimming pool after fainting in World Cup

American swimmer Anita Alvarez breathed a sigh of relief on Thursday after her coach dramatically rescued her when the athlete passed out on Wednesday night and sank to the bottom of the pool in the middle of her routine.

The dramatic scenes took place during the World Watercourse Championships in Budapest, Hungary, as Alvarez, 25, competed in the final of the women’s solo event and suddenly lost consciousness, sinking her to the bottom of the competition pool.

A Team USA member swims to rescue American Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool during an incident in the women’s solo artistic swimming final at the 2022 World Swimming Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022.

Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Andrea Fuentes, Alvarez’s coach, immediately dove into the water and was able to pull Alvarez to the surface before the swimmer was taken off on a stretcher for medical treatment while the rest of Team USA, who watched the game in the arena , looked on, clearly shocked by the ordeal.

Fuentes, who spoke exclusively to “Good Morning America” ​​on Thursday, explained what went through her mind during the ordeal.

“When you’re done, you really want to breathe because you’re holding your breath for a long time and the first thing you want to do is breathe,” Fuentes said. “And I thought she was going to go down, so I immediately thought, [I] I knew something was up, so I went as fast as I could. And I reach her and grab her to the surface and try to calm her down and let her breathe.”

PHOTO: A Team USA member recovers American Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool during an incident in the women's solo free artistic swimming, during the 2022 World Swimming Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022.

A Team USA member recovers American Anita Alvarez from the bottom of the pool during an incident in the women’s solo free artistic swimming at the 2022 World Swimming Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022.

Oli Scarff/AFP via Getty Images

Fuentes began administering CPR until medics and the team doctor could take over.

“Anita is fine,” Fuentes said in a statement following the terrifying incident. “The doctors have checked all vital signs and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc…everything is fine.”

Fuentes continues: “We sometimes forget that this happens in other endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross country… we’ve all seen images where some athletes fail to finish and others help them get there. Our sport is no different from any other, only in a pool do we push boundaries and sometimes we find them.”

PHOTO: Team United States' Anita Alvarez is cared for by medical personnel after her women's solo free final on day six of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

Team United States’ Anita Alvarez is cared for by medical personnel after her women’s solo free final on day six of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

Even after having to be rescued, Alvarez managed to finish the game in seventh place with a final score of 87,6333.

Alvarez witnessed a similar event at the FINA Olympic Games Qualifying Tournament for Artistic Swimming in Barcelona in June 2021, when she fainted during a competition and Fuentes immediately jumped to her aid in the pool on that occasion.

PHOTO: Anita Alvarez of Team United States competes in the women's free solo final on day six of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

Team United States’ Anita Alvarez competes in the Day Six Solo Women’s Free Final of the 2022 FINA World Championships in Budapest on June 22, 2022 in Budapest, Hungary.

Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

For now, however, it is yet to be decided whether Alvarez will continue in this year’s competition.

“Anita is now feeling well and the doctors say she is fine,” Fuentes concluded. “Tomorrow she will rest all day and decide with the doctor whether she can swim the final or not. Thank you for all your good wishes for Anita.”

PHOTO: Members of the US team react as swimmer Anita Alvarez receives medical attention during the women's solo free final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on June 22, 2022.

Members of the US team react as swimmer Anita Alvarez receives medical attention during the women’s solo free final at the FINA World Championships in Budapest, Hungary, on June 22, 2022.

Lisa Leutner/Reuters

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