The dramatic underwater rescue
Team USA swimmer Alvarez fainted under the water at the end of her routine in the solo free final in the 2022 FINA World Championships.
Originally from Buffalo, New York, she graduated in 2014 and began her professional synchronized swimming career.
Named 2016 & 2019 USA Synchro Athlete of the Year, she was competing for a medal in her third World Championships.
Having completed her routine on Wednesday, Alvarez lost consciousness and sank to the bottom of the pool. But help was soon on hand...
Alvarez was rescued from the water by her coach Andrea Fuentes, who dived in dressed in normal clothing.
"I went [to her] as quickly as I could, ...as if it were an Olympic final," said Fuentes afterwards.
With with the help of a competition assistant, they managed to get Alvarez above the surface at the edge of the pool.
The artistic swimmer, still apparently unconscious, was then taken on a stretcher to the pool’s medical center.
There was warm applause from the spectators in the arena, though her family and teammates were clearly in shock.
"When I saw her sink, I looked at the lifeguards, but I saw that they were dumbfounded. They didn’t react at all. I thought, 'Are you going to jump in?'”
"My reflexes kick in quickly, that’s how I am, I can’t just stand there looking. So I didn’t even think about it, I jumped in."
"It’s not that unusual, sometimes it happens when we train. There are moments when the body just collapses, and you stop breathing."
rescuing swimmer anita alvarez