Alla Shishkina, US swimmer, the Olympic champion in synchronized swimming, has asked US officials to check Anita Alvarez more closely. Alvarez was banned from the team event at the World Championships on Friday because she passed out and had to be helped by her coach.
Alvarez was in the final of the women’s solo free event in Budapest, Hungary when she fell asleep in the middle of her routine. The 25-year-old, who has had similar health scares before, started to sink to the bottom of the pool before her coach, Andrea Fuentes, saved her life.
Fuentes jumped into the water fully clothed and, with the help of a male lifeguard, pulled Alvarez to safety. Alvarez woke up soon after being pulled out of the pool, and first aid was given to the American right away.
It’s the second time Alvarez has passed out in a pool while competing. Fuentes saved her again at a qualifying event in Barcelona for the 2020 Olympics. The American was going to compete in the team event, but Alvarez won’t because her name was left off the start list for the team event at the World Championships.
USA Artistic Swimming said that she wasn’t allowed to compete in the team finals because FINA had “concerns about the safety of the athletes.”
And Shishkina, who won the team event at three straight Olympics between London 2012 and Tokyo 2020, thinks that Alvarez needs to go through more tests before she can compete again. In an interview with Sport24, the Russian said, “I think there must be a deeper reason.” Check the brain’s blood vessels and do an encephalogram.
If someone loses consciousness like this, it’s clear that something is wrong. You should check your health. I hope Anita is okay, but I would think about getting her checked out.
“Athletes are people who, even if it is dangerous to perform, will still do it.”
Shishkina thought at first that Alvarez had to compete in the team event because she was so important to the routine. She also thought that the problem wasn’t caused by the warm water in the pool. She also said, “I think Anita won’t even think about whether she will live or die at this point. She will just perform.”
“I saw that she stands on something in the group. Most of the time, the person who stands on the supports is considered to be essential, so she has no choice but to do her job.
“No, there’s no hot water. There have been other competitions in this pool before. Even if it’s hot outside, the water is cool. Usually, it is 26 to 27 degrees. It’s quite comfortable.
“In 2009, I did a performance at the World Championships in Rome. The pool was outside, and it was +42 outside. No one on our team passed out.”
The Americans were clearly upset by the scary event, and they were seen comforting each other by the pool right after it happened. Fuentes, who has been the head coach of Team USA’s senior national team since 2018, said that Alvarez would be eager to perform and put an end to the terrible incident. However, news has come out that Alvarez will not be in the routine.
The event was won by Yukiko Inui of Japan. Alvarez came in seventh. Most synchronized swimming routines don’t require swimmers to hold their breath for more than a minute at a time. That’s why Alvarez’s passing out is so strange.