Team USA artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez said she is feeling “much better” after fainting and beginning to sink at the World Aquatics Championships in Budapest on Thursday.
The shocking underwater footage of Álvarez’s trainer, Andrea Fuentes, diving into the pool fully clothed to save her, sparked serious concern for the New York native’s health.
The young swimmer was not breathing when Fuentes brought her to the surface, but she soon managed to cough up the water she had inhaled.
The 25-year-old two-time Olympian spoke out on Instagram after the ordeal, saying she is “fine and healthy”.
“I hope everyone can respect that my team and I still have two more days of competition to focus on here in Budapest,” he wrote on his Instagram story.
“Whether that’s in the water for me or on the sidelines will be determined by myself and the expert medical staff, but either way @artswimusa and I have a job to finish and I hope everyone can understand.”
Alvarez is now awaiting official word to see if she has been cleared to compete in Friday’s women’s team free final.
Team USA Artistic Swimming said seeing the incident was “heartbreaking for our community,” however, assuring fans that Alvarez was “already feeling much better.”
“Anita has been evaluated by medical personnel and will continue to be monitored. Anita and the expert medical staff will determine whether or not she will compete in the free team final on Friday, June 24,” the organization said in a statement.
The trainer who rescued Álvarez, fellow Olympian Fuentes, 39, spoke out on Instagram after the ordeal.
“What a day!!! I think I had all kinds of emotions possible,” he wrote alongside a series of images of the Team USA squad.
“Anita’s solo was also very good, it was her best performance, she pushed her limits and found them, but Anita is fine and the doctors said she’s fine too.”
“Now is the time to rest and recover,” added Fuentes.
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 slow reaction of Budapest lifeguards to Alvarez’s apparent distress.
Photographer Oli Scarff, who took pictures of the ordeal, said it was “a shocking thing to see”.
“As soon as I looked back at the robotic camera, I had a clear view of the scene as everyone in the arena was watching it through the surface of the water,” he told CNN.
“He went immediately from shooting these beautiful images of this amazing athlete performing… to then, in the blink of an eye, we are now shooting a near death situation. He was quite shocked, actually.”
Álvarez previously said that he hopes to compete in the 2024 Olympics.