U.S. artistic swimmer loses consciousness briefly in pool, coach dives in to help
U.S. Olympic artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez briefly lost consciousness at the end of a routine at an Olympic qualification event, leading a coach to dive into the pool, fully clothed, to help.
It happened when Alvarez and partner Lindi Schroeder finished their preliminary free routine to Billie Eilish on Saturday in Barcelona. U.S. head coach Andrea Fuentes dove in, and she and Schroeder carried Alvarez through the water to the pool deck.
The end of Schroeder and Alvarez’s routine is here at the 26-minute, 30-second mark.
Alvarez was moving shortly after they came to a stop. She was tended to by medical personnel for five minutes before being wheeled away, responsive, from the deck in a chair.
“Anita is doing fine and recovering from an extremely taxing week,” according to USA Artistic Swimming on Saturday. “We could not be more proud of her contributions.”
Alvarez was cleared to continue competing if she felt well enough, and she did so later in the day for their tech routine.
“Anita looked visibly shaken as she retreated off the pool deck,” after the tech routine, according to USA Artistic Swimming.
On Sunday, alternate Ruby Remati replaced Alvarez for the competition’s conclusion, the free finals.
Schroeder and Remati, swimming together internationally for the first time, scored higher than Alvarez and Schroeder’s preliminary score. They placed fifth overall to comfortably qualify for the Olympics.
Alvarez, a Rio Olympian, and Schroeder will fill the spots in Tokyo.
“Definition of ‘teamwork makes the dream work,’” was posted on Alvarez’s Instagram Story.
Earlier in the event, the U.S. team missed qualifying for the Olympics by one spot and .211 of a point.
The U.S. last qualified an artistic team for the Olympics in 2008. Its last medals in duet and team came in 2004.
Synchronized swimming changed its name to artistic swimming after the Rio Olympics.
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