After the dramatic incident with a US athlete at the swimming world championships in Budapest, a coach of the American team sharply criticized the safety precautions of the competition.
Synchronized swimmer Anita Alvarez fell unconscious in the pool on Wednesday immediately after her performance in the free solo freestyle. She was rescued by her trainer Andrea Fuentes and another person. The assistants only “gawped” and “didn’t react,” Fuentes complained in an interview with the Spanish trade newspaper “AS” on Thursday.
“When I saw her sink, I looked over at the rescuers but I saw that they were just staring and not reacting. I thought, ‘Are you going to jump in or not?'” Then she acted. “That’s how I am, I can’t just stare,” said the Spanish-born Fuentes, who was celebrated as a heroine by the media in her homeland.
The rescue operation was not easy, she emphasized. The rescuer, who jumped into the pool after a while, “didn’t really help much,” Fuentes explained: “You had to put her on her side so she couldn’t swallow water and breathe. He wanted to put her on her back and there was a little absurd fight about which position we should put her in.”
Half an hour after the incident, it was announced that Alvarez was doing well. The fainting spell was stress-related and was not the first of its kind. Fuentes announced on Instagram that Alvarez, in consultation with the doctors, was considering starting in the team final in the free program. She wanted to rest on Thursday, “and then decide with the doctor whether she can swim the team final in the free program or not,” said Fuentes.