Kenmore Native nearly drowned at world championships
An Olympic swimmer from Buffalo suffered a medical emergency while in Budapest to compete in the world aquatics championships.
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Anita Alvarez, a 2014 graduate of Kenmore West Senior High School, was competing at the World Aquatic Championships on Thursday in a solo free routine when something unexpected happened.
Towards the end of her routine, Alvarez suddenly passed out in the pool and she began to sink to the bottom.
Fortunately, Alvarez’s trainer, four-time Olympic medalist Andrea Fuentes, immediately dived into the pool when she noticed what had happened and saved her.
Alvarez told reporters she had to step in “because the rescuers weren’t doing it.”
As it was the World Aquatics Championships, underwater cameras were able to capture the incredible rescue as Anita Alvarez floated motionless in the pool and her coach heroically dove into the pool to save her.
The footage shows that Coach Fuentes was the first to get to Alvarez while she was unconscious.
A man then jumped into the water to help Fuentes pull Alvarez out of the pool and onto a stretcher so she could receive proper medical attention.
Coach Fuentes provided an update Thursday night via Instagram after the scary situation.
“WWe look forward to showing a better performance in the finals,” Fuentes wrote. “We have so much room for improvement, but hope and belief are so important and today we had a lot of that!”
Coach Fuentes went on to call Alvarez’s performance ‘his best performance ever’.
“She just pushed her limits and she found them,” Fuentes wrote.
Anita Alvarez is fine and the doctors reportedly said she was fine.
According to Unity News, “this is the second time in a year that Alvarez has collapsed in the pool.”
DailyMail shared the video of the rescue, but it’s not easy to watch… so watch at your discretion.
About Anita Alvarez:
Anita Alvarez was born on December 2, 1995 in Amherst, NY. A native of Western New York, she was named the 2021 United States Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year. Alvarez began her professional career in synchronized swimming after graduating from Kenmore West Senior High School in 2016. She is a two-time Olympian, with 26 Olympic medals to her credit, specializing in artistic swimming.
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