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USA Artistic Swimming’s Anita Alvarez is speaking out after she fainted while performing at the world championships in Budapest, Hungary.
In a post on Instagram, the athlete wrote that she would “give a brief update soon.”
“But in the meantime know that I am okay and healthy! I appreciate all of the messages of support and hope everyone can respect that my team and I still have two more days of competition to be focused on here in Budapest,” Alvarez wrote.
She said she hoped people could understand that USA Artistic Swimming and she “have a job to finish” – whether it is in the water or on the sidelines.
This comes after head coach Andrea Fuentes dived into the pool to rescue the two-time Olympian on Wednesday.
After fainting, Alvarez sunk to the bottom of the pool during a solo free routine that she told NBC’s “Nightly News” on Thursday was her best performance “by far.”
“And then, at the very end, I do remember, like, the very last arm I did … It’s such a simple small arm, that I was like, ‘give everything until the very end.’ And, I did that. And then, I remember going down and just being … kinda like, ‘Uh oh.’ Like, “I don’t feel too great.’ And, that’s the last thing I remember, actually,” she said.
In her own statement shared by USA Artistic Swimming, Fuentes said that Alvarez is “okay” and that doctors had “checked all vitals and everything is normal: heart rate, oxygen, sugar levels, blood pressure, etc.”
“We sometimes forget that this happens in other high-endurance sports. Marathon, cycling, cross country… We all have seen images where some athletes don’t make it to the finish line and others help them to get there. Our sport is no different than others, just in a pool, we push through limits and sometimes we find them. Anita feels good now and the doctors also say she is okay. Tomorrow she will rest all day and will decide with the doctor if she can swim free team finals or not. Thank you for all of your well wishes for Anita,” she wrote.
“I’ve seen it happen to her before,” Alvarez’s mother told WIVB-TV. “Never in competition, though. I knew right away. On their last element, I could tell something was up.”
“It was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes told The Associated Press.
The swimmer finished seventh in Wednesday’s individual final.
AFP said Alvarez was left off a revised startlist before the team competition on Friday.
Fox News’ Brie Stimson and The Associated Press contributed to this report.