Andrea Fuentes prevented the tragedy at the FINA World Championships with her quick reaction.
A US coach knew something was wrong when he saw artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez sinking to the bottom of the pool during Wednesday’s solo free routine.
Fully dressed Fuentes jumped in. She swam into her unresponsive Alvarez, placed her arms around her, and lifted her to the surface of her water, helping another person take her out of the pool.
Alvarez, a two-time Olympic athlete, was faint.
“It was the best performance I’ve ever had. She went beyond the limits and found the limits,” Fentes joked.
Alvarez, who was treated immediately, felt better all day yesterday.
“Anita has been evaluated by medical staff and will continue to be monitored. She feels much better and is using it for rest today,” USA Artistic Swimming told The Associated Press in a statement.
“It was heartbreaking for our community to see the emergency treatment of double yesterday’s Olympic athlete Anita Alvarez and the subsequent rescue by Andrea Fuentes. She performed an extraordinary solo performance in six days. We competed brilliantly in four qualifying rounds and three finals. “