Despite everything, Anita Álvarez could continue her participation in Budapest. (Photo by Peter Kohalmi / AFP)
Anita Alvarez, 25, inadvertently became the central figure of the World Swimming Championships held in Budapest, Hungary. After suddenly passing out while carrying out her routine in the artistic swimming test and being rescued by her coach Andrea Fuentes from the bottom of the pool, where she had been submerged for about two minutes, it is now debated whether the athlete will compete this again. Friday at the end of his specialty.
It depends, of course, on the approval of the US team doctors. Because the will of the swimmer, who in the past few hours spoke to the media and detailed what she felt a few seconds before disappearing, is to continue competing.
“I felt like I was leaving everything in the pool. In the last picture, where I have to say goodbye with one arm raised, I remember thinking: ‘Push that arm! Don’t give up now! Give it your all until the last second!'” I felt like I was fading from the past. This time I think I am so mentally connected, so in my role, living in the moment so intensely, that I was really enjoying my performance. pain to the end. I kept going, going, going … Sometimes you don’t feel pain until you stop. It’s like athletics. I like running. Sometimes you are running and the time you stop is when you feel the pain has hit. In this routine I felt great, tired as always but I was having fun. And when I felt that I could finally afford to relax, it was when everything went black. I don’t remember anything else, “he said in dialogue with the sports newspaper As de España.
The photo that has traveled the world. Andrea Fuentes reaches out and pulls Alvarez out of the water. Photo: AFP
Asked about the photos of his rescue that went viral at lightning speed and went around the world on the front pages of the world’s leading newspapers, Álvarez acknowledged that at first he didn’t like seeing himself in that situation at all.
“At first I was shocked. I didn’t expect such a thing to be published. But then I took it slow. I didn’t want to look down on it. Now I think the photos are cute in some ways. See me over there. in the water, so peaceful, so silent, and see Andrea go down with his arm outstretched trying to reach me like a superhero … Sometimes the quietest place on earth is underwater: when you sit quietly at the bottom of the pool. You feel that you do not weigh, you are with yourself. I love it. Sometimes I need that moment. And in the photos it all looks very natural, although getting a person out of the bottom of a pool and lifting them to the surface is very difficult. Especially when you dive three meters deep in your street clothes. This morning when he got up he said he felt like he had low back pain! “
The million dollar question is whether he will be in the artistic swimming final this Friday and Álvarez looks ready to dive again.
“I have rested a lot, all night and all day. My body feels completely normal. It’s something that has already happened to me. You rest and the next day you go back into the water. I saw again. I feel like my body. could hold up is all in my mind. I want to finish this competition, which was the best we have had in the US in a long time. I am very happy with my solo and now I don’t want to miss the commitment with my team in the final of the free. I want to finish these championships with my head held high. I want my teammates to feel they can trust me and that makes us stronger, “he said, waiting for a wink from the doctors.
The decision on Alvarez’s participation on Friday has not yet been finalized. (REUTERS / Lisa Leutner)
Will Álvarez be able to participate on Friday?
The US team’s scheduled lineup for Friday still includes Anita Álvarez. Fuentes, her coach and responsible for saving her life, has already claimed that a few hours after her rescue, her pupil was in perfect condition. Furthermore, the doctors would have credited her good health.
“The truth is that she is very well, even if it may not seem like it, she is perfect, she has been asleep all morning and tomorrow she wants to take a bath. The doctors have done all the tests and they say she is fine, but this is something we still have to do. evaluate Agreed sources.
the miraculous rescue
Anita Álvarez played the final solo in the afternoon and finished in seventh position. At the end of her exercise, which she completed normally, was when she passed out. She was submerged for a few minutes, and it was when she caught her coach’s attention that she didn’t hesitate to jump to save her.
“At that moment I didn’t think about it, I just told myself that you have to get there as fast as possible, bring it to the surface and let it breathe,” explained the coach.
The moment when Fuentes throws himself to watch his training. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
Sources, winner of four Olympic medals with Spain and the current United States coachgot Alvarez out of the pool before the lifeguards arrived.
“Now that I think about it, it’s normal, because they don’t know the sport as much as I do and they don’t even swim as fast as I do, so it’s normal that they didn’t react as quickly. This is because I jumped, because I saw that they weren’t going and I said to no. I can’t wait a second longer, “he commented on his actions and those of the rescuers.
Fuentes explained to Spanish radio stations that his disciple passed out due to the strain shown during his routine.
Anita Alvarez is saved by Andrea Fuentes. Photo: AFP
“I will not forget, I have not had many experiences of these. It was a big scare, even if it’s not the first time this has happened. She is an athlete who likes to go to the limit, but today she has passed 20 cities. I told him not to do it again, “he told Cadena Ser on Wednesday.
“I think she was at least two minutes without breathing because her lungs were full of water, but we were able to get her to a good place, she threw up the water, just coughed,” he told Rac1 radio.
“I tried to wake her up by slapping her and opening her jaw,” he added at Cope station.
This is the third World Cup for the American athlete, who also passed out during a qualification for the Barcelona Olympic Games last year.
The exact moment of the rescue. (Photo by Oli SCARFF / AFP)
The declaration of USA Artistic Swimming
“Seeing the medical emergency yesterday of two-time Olympian Anita Álvarez was heartbreaking for our community. Anita made an outstanding solo performance and competed brilliantly in four preliminaries and three finals in six days of the 2022 World Cup,” he said. said. USA Artistic Swimming.
“Anita has been evaluated by the medical staff and will continue to be monitored. She is already feeling much better and is taking advantage of today to rest. Whether or not she will compete in the free team final on Friday 24 June will be determined by Anita herself and the experienced medical staff. “, he added.
Why did the rescuers take so long?
Anita Álvarez is healed and ready to compete according to her coach. (REUTERS / Lisa Leutner)
According to a press release from the International Swimming Federation (FINA), the lifeguards did not intervene immediately due to a regulatory impediment that could only be revoked with the express authorization of the body of judges responsible for sanctioning the event.
“Only the judges, and only they, can give the order to jump into the pool to help a competitor who fell ill at that moment. This protocol is in order to avoid any misunderstanding on the part of the lifeguards “, reads the document released by the federation.