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Artistic swimmer Alvarez finds peace and beauty in images of her rescue


Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes (right) rescues unconscious artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez ‘like a superhero’

American artistic swimmer Anita Alvarez said she was “shocked” when she saw the “beautiful” AFP photographs showing her sinking unconscious to the bottom of the pool and being rescued by her coach at the World Swimming Championships.

Alvarez fainted and dropped to the bottom at the end of her individual routine and was saved by her quick-thinking coach. AFP’s underwater robot camera captured astonishing images as the drama unfolded.

“At first I was shocked,” she said.

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“Now I think the photos are beautiful, in a way. To see me down there in the water, so peaceful, so quiet, and to see Andrea coming down with her arm outstretched trying to reach me, like a superhero.”

“It was a big scare. I had to jump in because the lifeguards weren’t doing it,” Fuentes told Spanish media.

“My reflexes kicked in.

Alvarez said the photos also reinforced her love of her sport.

The USA artistic team released a statement from Fuentes on Thursday saying Alvarez had fainted due to the effort expended during the routine.

Jacobs said Alvarez could still take part in the Team Free Final on Friday.

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