Team USA swimmer Anita Alvarez, coach speaking publicly after swimming fainting

Team USA technical swimmer Anita Alvarez said she was feeling “a lot better” after she fainted and started sinking at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on Thursday.

Heart-stopping underwater images of Alvarez coach Andrea Fuentes diving into the pool fully clothed to save her have sparked public concern about the New York native’s health.

The young swimmer was not breathing when Fuentes brought her to the surface – but she quickly managed to get the water she inhaled out.

The 25-year-old Olympian spoke on Instagram after the frightening ordeal, saying that she was “fine and well”.

“Hopefully everyone respects my team and I still have two more days of competition to focus on here in Budapest,” she wrote on Instagram Story.

“Whether it’s in the water for me or on the sidelines, it will be decided by myself and an expert medical staff, but either way @artswimusa and I have work to finish and I hope everyone understands that.”

Alvarez is now waiting for the official word to see if she will be allowed to compete in the women’s team freestyle final on Friday.

Alvarez said it was "fine and healthy" after the accident.
Alvarez said she was “fine and well” after the accident.
AFP via Getty Images

Team USA Artistic Swimming said witnessing the accident was “heartbreaking for our community”, yet assured fans that Alvarez was “really feeling a lot better”.

Anita has been evaluated by the medical staff and will continue to be monitored. The organization said in a statement that whether she will compete in the free team final on Friday, June 24 will be decided by Anita and expert medical staff.

The coach who saved Alvarez, fellow Olympic Fuentes, 39, spoke on Instagram after the ordeal.

“What a day!!! I think I have all kinds of feelings possible,” she wrote along with a series of photos of Team USA.

“Anita’s solo performance was also good, it was her best ever, she went over her limit and found it but Anita is fine and the doctors also said she is fine.”

“It’s time to rest and recover,” Fuentes added.

Fuentes, a Spanish swimmer with four Olympic medals to her name, has been the head coach of Team USA since 2018.

The veteran swimmer criticized the lifeguards’ slow response to Alvarez’ apparent plight.

Anita Alvarez's Instagram story addresses her health after passing out.
Anita Alvarez’s Instagram story addresses her health after passing out.
Instagram
Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical attention during the women's individual freestyle final.
Anita Alvarez of the United States receives medical attention during the women’s individual freestyle final.
Reuters

Photographer Olly Scarf, who captured the images of the frightening ordeal, said it was “a shocking thing to see”.

“As soon as I looked down at the robotic camera, I had this kind of clear view of the scene as everyone in the arena was watching it through the surface of the water,” he told CNN.

“I immediately went from filming these beautiful pictures of this amazing athlete performing… to then in a heartbeat and now we are filming a near death situation. I was totally shaken, actually.”

Alvarez previously said she hopes to compete in the 2024 Olympics.

Andrea Fuentes helps save Anita Alvarez after she passed out during a competition.
Andrea Fuentes helps save Anita Alvarez after she passed out during a competition.
Polaris

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