Team USA synchronized swimmer Anita Alvarez will not compete at the team free event as she recovers after fainting and sinking to the bottom of the pool during a solo routine, the International swimming federation (FINA) announced Friday.
“The health and safety of athletes must always come first,” the swimming federation said in a statement on Friday.
“While FINA understands why this decision will have been disappointing to the athlete, it was a decision that was made with her best interests in mind.”
Her coach Andrea Fuentes is being praised for her quick thinking in rescuing Alvarez, after the Olympian was spotted sinking during her routine on Wednesday.
“It was her best performance ever, she just pushed through her limits and she found them,” Fuentes said in an Instagram post; adding that the 26-year-old swimmer was told by doctors she would be fine.
Alvarez has reposted a story made by her coach showing footage of her having dinner with her teammates with the caption “nothing but love for my team this week and always.”
The decision to bar the athlete from competing was made alongside the Team USA doctor, team leader and President of the USA Artistic Swimming.
“FINA is delighted that Anita Alvarez has already made such a strong recovery, and looks forward to seeing her in competition again soon,” the statement read.