ANITA ALVAREZ has broken her silence after her coach saved her from drowning at the 2022 World Championships.
The 25-year-old Olympic synchronized swimmer was competing in the women’s solo freestyle final in Budapest when she came within seconds of dying.
The American star, who has also suffered from other health issues in the past, was halfway through her routine when she lost consciousness.
Alvarez began to sink to the bottom of the pool before his trainer, Andrea Fuentes, saved his life.
Fuentes threw herself into the pool, swam to the ground, grabbed Alvarez and dragged her to safety with the help of another shocked bystander.
The swimmer quickly regained consciousness and received immediate medical attention and is now on the mend.
Alvarez has now opened up about her ordeal during an interview with NBC Nightly News as she saluted her heroic trainer.
She said: “I mean I tell her and other people all the time, [I’m] so grateful to have him as a coach.
“When I found out she was going to be our coach, it was like I couldn’t believe it.”
Of the incident, she said, “I remember feeling like it was a really good performance. Like, my best by far and not just how I played, but just that I was really enjoying it and really living in the moment too. So because of that, I feel really happy and really proud.
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“And then at the very end, I remember like the very last arm I did, I gave like, it’s such a simple little arm, but I was like giving it my all until the very end and I did that and then I remember coming down and just being like, kinda like, ‘uh-oh, I’m not feeling too good.’
“And that’s literally the last thing I actually remember.”
Spain’s Fuentes, who won four Olympic medals and 16 World Championship medals before retiring from the sport herself, has since revealed the American will continue to compete at the World Championships following her spectacular pool save.
The 39-year-old mother-of-one, the most decorated swimmer in the history of the Spanish national team, said: ‘She doesn’t want to leave here with the picture of her unconscious at the bottom of the pool .
“Anyway, in the team events, Anita does a lot of pirouettes and very little apnea, so she will almost certainly be competing.”