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Heroic coach saved a U.S. artistic swimmer, who fainted in the pool mid-competition

Editor’s note: Readers may find some of the photos in this story upsetting.

Two-time U.S. Olympian Anita Alvarez may have pushed herself a little too hard Wednesday at the FINA World Championships in Budapest.

In the midst of what head coach Andrea Fuentes called Alvarez’s “best performance ever,” the artistic swimmer fainted and sank to the bottom of the pool during her solo free routine. That’s when Fuentes jumped into hero mode, diving into the water fully clothed to rescue Alvarez before tragedy could strike.

Fuentes took to Instagram after the competition to say Alvarez was doing OK after being evaluated by doctors and to remind people that this type of thing happens in high-endurance sports. But the pictures remain terrifying.

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images

Photo by Dean Mouhtaropoulos/Getty Images

“Anita’s solo was so good too, it was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes said on Instagram. “But Anita is ok and the doctors also said she is fine.”

USA Artistic swimming said Alvarez will continue to be monitored before it’s determined whether she can compete in the free team final on Friday.

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