Kenmore Native Nearly Drowns At World Championships
An Olympic swimmer from Buffalo had a medical emergency while in Budapest to compete at the World Aquatics Championships.
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Anita Alvarez, a 2014 graduate of Kenmore West Senior High School, was competing at the World Aquatics Championships on Thursday during a solo free routine when something unexpected happened.
Towards the end of her routine, Alvarez suddenly fainted in the pool, and she started to sink towards the bottom.
Thankfully, Alvarez’s coach, four-time Olympic medal winner Andrea Fuentes, dove into the pool immediately when she noticed what had happened and rescued her.
Alvarez told reporters that she had to jump in "because the lifeguards weren't doing it."
Since it was the World Aquatics Championships, underwater cameras were able to capture the incredible rescue as Anita Alvarez floated motionless in the pool and her coach heroically dove into the pool to save her.
The images show that Coach Fuentes was the first one to get to Alvarez while she was unconscious.
A man later jumped in the water to assist Fuentes to help her get Alvarez out of the pool and onto a stretcher so she could receive proper medical attention.
Coach Fuentes provided an update on Thursday night via Instagram after the scary situation.
“We cannot wait to show a better performance at finals,” Fuentes wrote. “We have so much room for improvement but hope and believe is so important and today we had plenty of it!”
Coach Fuentes went on to call Alvarez’s performance “her best performance ever.”
“She just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes wrote.
Anita Alvarez is doing ok, and the doctors reportedly said she is fine.
According to Unity News, “this is the second time in a year that Alvarez has collapsed whilst in the pool.”
DailyMail shared the video of the rescue, but it isn’t easy to watch…so view at your discretion.
About Anita Alvarez:
Anita Alvarez was born December 2, 1995 in Amherst, NY. A Western New York native, she was named USA's 2021 Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year. Alvarez started her professional synchronized swimming career after she graduated from Kenmore West Senior High School back in 2016. She is a two-time Olympian, with 26 Olympic medals to her credit, specializing in artistic swimming.