An Olympic swimmer from Buffalo responds on social media after a medical scare while in Budapest competing at the World Aquatics Championships.

Anita Alvarez, a 2014 graduate of Kenmore West Senior High School, was competing at the World Aquatics Championships on Thursday during a solo free routine when something unexpected happened – at the end of her routine, Alvarez suddenly fainted in the pool.

She appeared to be unconscious as she sank towards the bottom. 

Thankfully, Alvarez’s coach, four-time Olympic medal winner Andrea Fuentes, dove into the pool immediately when she noticed what had happened and rescued her.

The underwater cameras at the World Aquatics Championships were able to capture the incredible rescue as Coach Fuentes heroically dove into the pool to save her.

The images show that Coach Fuentes was the first one to get to Alvarez while she was unconscious. 

While we received an Instagram update from Coach Fuentes on Thursday, June 23, Anita Alvarez did not acknowledge the scare online until Monday, June 27. 



‘While it seems like the universe may have been against me all year, I’m a firm believer in things happening for a reason and learning from every situation with an open mind & heart. I will take these challenges I’ve dealt with (and am still dealing with) to continue creating my own path of life. People will criticize and disagree with different things along the way, and I appreciate all the opinions… but I am learning as I go; Aware of past mistakes but always focused on how I can be better going forward.

With the information we have, my health is good and I am feeling much better today and that is most important. For everyone concerned that this just happens regularly and I am just pushing it aside because I don’t take my health seriously is mistaken and I hope you can understand my position and respect my privacy at the same time.”

Alvarez continued on to share why she waited to post something in regards to the scare. 

“I’ve always been a person who values her privacy and in general takes time to fully open up to people so this blast in the media of something so personal as my own health was a bit unsettling,” Alvarez wrote. “I have seen countless doctors and had extensive tests over the years. And I will continue to further investigate until I have an answer because this right here is my passion, it’s what I live for, and I am still… only.getting.started.”

Coach Fuentes went on to call Alvarez’s performance at the World Aquatics Championships “her best performance ever.”

“She just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes wrote on Instagram

According to Unity News, “this is the second time in a year that Alvarez has collapsed whilst in the pool.” 

DailyMail shared the video of the rescue, but use your discretion if you choose to watch it.

About Anita Alvarez:

Alvarez, USA's 2021 Artistic Swimming Athlete of the Year, started her professional synchronized swimming career after she graduated from Kenmore West Senior High School in 2016. She is a two-time Olympian, with 26 Olympic medals to her credit, specializing in artistic swimming. 

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