Coach Praised for How She Handled US Swimmer Passing Out in the Pool and 20 Other Amazing Sports Moments

Coach Praised for How She Handled US Swimmer Passing Out in the Pool and 20 Other Amazing Sports Moments

Every so often, we witness sports moments that renew our faith in society – sports moments that make us smile in amazement. In fact, one of those moments happened recently at the FINA World Aquatic Championships in Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday, June 22, 2022.

When Team USA coach Andrea Fuentes noticed American swimmer Anita Alvarez sinking to the bottom of the pool during the women’s solo free event, she immediately jumped in and lifted her to the surface. Fuentes’ quick actions were not just heroic, but they were admirable. 

Alvarez represented the United States in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics and while she has yet to earn an Olympic medal, she does have two bronze medals from the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima. Fuentes, on the other hand, has won four Olympic medals representing Spain.

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Other Amazing Sports Moments That’ll Make You Smile

Coach Praised for How She Handled US Swimmer Passing Out in the Pool and 20 Other Amazing Sports Moments
Jakkrit Orrasri / Shutterstock

Sports moments like the one that happened between Andrea Fuentes and Anita Alvarez are more common than you’d think. They happen every day and while only a few amazing sports moments make national headlines, they all deserve our attention and shouldn’t be forgotten. 

It doesn’t matter what the sport is, who the opponents are, or what the circumstances are, these types of sports moments often happen when you least expect them. They can happen during practice, during qualifications, during a game, even during an athlete’s most important moment.

Either way, sports moments like these are worth remembering. They instill a sense of hope and faith into each and every one of us. That’s why we’re going to detail 20 of our favorite sports moments that make us remember that this is more than sports – it’s just humans being human.

20. Meghan Vogel and Arden McMath Race

Meghan Vogel, a junior at West Liberty-Salem High School, had already won the 1,600-meter race at the Division III girls state meet in Columbus, Ohio. In her next race, the 3,200-meter run, she and Arden McMath, a sophomore at Arlington High School, had about 20 meters left when McMath collapsed. Instead of running right by her, Vogel helped McMath to the finish line. 

19. Derek Redmond and Jim Redmond 400m Race

Derek Redmond was competing in the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona. It was during the 400-meter run that Redmond tore his hamstring. Instead of giving up, Redmond started to limp his way toward the finish line. Eventually, his father made his way on the track to assist his son to the finish line. Redmond was disqualified, but there was much more to this sports moment than winning.

18. Andrew Flintoff and Brett Lee Cricket Match

On the third day of the Ashes Test in 2005, Australia and England were locked in a tight cricket match. Australia’s Brett Lee needed 45 runs, but came two runs short as England took home the victory. With his team celebrating, England’s Andrew Flintoff went up to the distraught Brett Lee and comforted him – saying he would buy him a beer after what was a great game for both sides. 

17. Tana Umaga and Colin Charvis

During a 2003 rugby match between Wales and New Zealand, Colin Charvis of Wales was completely demolished by a tackle from New Zealand’s Jerry Collins. After the hit, Charvis laid on the ground unresponsive. While the play continued, Tana Umaga of the New Zealand team stopped to his rescue and helped put his opponent in the recovery position – as well as take his mouthguard out – to open his breathing passage. It likely saved his life. 

16. Abbey D’Agostino and Nikki Hamblin

This happened during the second heat of the 5,000-meter run at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio. Abbey D’Agostino of the United States and Nikki Hamblin of New Zealand were running along a pack of women when D’Agostino tripped and fell – causing Hamblin to fall as well. D’Agostino helped Hamblin to her feet and the two continued the race. D’Agostino ended up falling again, but Hamblin helped her to her feet. They both finished the race, even though D’Agostino tore her ACL in the process. 

15. Luz Long and Jesse Owens Long Jump

This moment happened in 1936 and was the start of a long friendship between two unlikely people. Jesse Owens was a standout American athlete and Luz Long was one of Adolf Hitler’s prize possessions. They were both at the 1936 Olympics when Owens faulted his first two attempts at qualifying for the long jump. With one jump left, Long walked up to Owens and gave him some advice on how to hit the third jump. Owens ended up qualifying and winning the gold medal as a result. Ironically, it helped prove that Adolf Hitler’s plan was failing. 

14. Usain Bolt National Anthem

If you look around the United States today, there are a lot of Americans choosing to kneel during the national anthem. While that’s their right and no one should stop them, it’s athletes like Usain Bolt – who’s not even American – that remind us how to be respectful during the national anthem. At the 2012 Olympics, he stopped in the middle of a live interview to respect the moment of silence while the United States’ national anthem played in the background. 

13. Jack Nicklaus vs. Tony Jacklin Golf Match

The 1969 Ryder Cup was a legendary one, as well as being Jack Nicklaus’ first such appearance. Britain and the United States were all tied up when Nicklaus, with a four-foot putt, and Tony Jacklin, with a two-foot putt, met on the 18th green. Nicklaus hit his putt and was one Jacklin mistake away from winning it for the US. Instead of giving Jacklin a chance to miss, Nicklaus conceded the putt – which meant the Ryder Cup ended in a tie. 

Jacklin later recollected that Nicklaus told him, “I don’t believe you would have missed that but I’d never give you the opportunity in these circumstances.” It was a great sign of sportsmanship.

12. Andy Roddick vs. Fernando Verdasco Tennis Match

This sports moment happened during a tennis match between Andy Roddick and Fernando Verdasco on May 5, 2005 at the Rome Masters. Roddick had already won the first set and had match point in the second set to win it all. Verdasco hit the ball out on his second serve, giving Roddick the victory. While Roddick walked up to shake his hand, he noticed the out of bounds line was splattered, meaning the ball was in. He stopped the game and gave Verdasco the point. Roddick ended up losing the match after Verdasco made a huge comeback. 

11. Benton vs. Maryville High School Football Game

This sports moment happened during a high school football game between St. Joseph Benton High School and Maryville High School. Matt Ziesel, a freshman running back with down syndrome, finally made his debut with his team, Benton, down 46-0. Upon entering, Benton head coach asked Maryville coaches if they would let Ziesel run in for a touchdown. Despite having to give up a shutout, the team agreed and the rest is history. 

10. Pete Goss and Raphael Dinelli Sailing Race

In 1996-97, Pete Goss embarked in a race around the world in his Open 50 yacht Aqua Quorum. During the race, he received a distressed call from an opponent, Raphael Dinelli, amidst storm winds. It took Goss two days to finally find the near-dead Dinelli, but he came just in time – not only saving his life, but finding his own way to safety in dangerous conditions. 

9. Ivan Fernandez and Abel Mutai Cross Country Race

In December of 2012, Abel Mutai and Ivan Fernandez entered into a cross-country race in Burlada, Navarre. The two were nearing the finish line as first and second place, respectively. Mutai misread the signs and thought he already won, but had a few more steps to go. Fernandez came up behind him and easily could’ve passed him for first place, but noticed Mutai’s confusion and urged him along to the finish line. 

8. John Landy and Ron Clarke One Mile Race

This sports moment occurred in 1956 when John Landy and Ron Clarke of Australia were competing in the mile championship at Melbourne Olympic Park. Clarke had fallen after clipping another runner’s heel. Landy, who was close behind, tried to jump out of the way, but landed his spikes on Carke’s arm. Instead of running past, Landy went back and checked on Clarke before making a comeback and winning the race – giving up a chance at a world record to help a friend.

7. West Ham United vs. Everton Football Match

In a 2000 matchup between West Ham United and Everton in the Premier League, the two sides were knotted at 1-1. Everton goalie Paul Gerrard was far away from the net trying to retrieve the ball, but ended up injuring himself – leaving the net wide open. West Ham United had possession of the ball and crossed it in for an easy goal. Instead, Paolo Di Canio of West Ham caught the ball and stopped the play to make sure the goalie was okay – giving up the easy win.

6. Fargo South High vs. Devils Lake High Cross-Country Race

In 2014, Melanie Bailey knew her cross-country career was coming to an end. A senior at Devils Lake High School, Bailey was in the middle of a race at Ponderosa Golf Course near Glyndon, Minnesota when she came across an injured senior, Danielle LeNoue, from Fargo South High. Bailey sprung into action, told LeNoue to get on her back, and carried her to a medical cart to receive attention. Although Bailey didn’t qualify for the state meet, her good deed was priceless.

5. Matt Strunk vs. Lucas Ortiz Wrestling Match

This sports moment takes us back to 2016 during the Wilson Duals Tournament – a high school wrestling tournament in Pennsylvania. Lucas Ortiz, a senior at Conestoga Valley, entered the season with 99 career wins, but wasn’t able to compete all year due to an injury. A wrestler from Chambersburg, Matt Strunk, knew Ortiz was one win away from 100 and knowing this was his last chance to get it, decided to forfeit a match against him – giving Ortiz 100 career wins. 

4. Eckerd College vs. Florida Southern College Softball Game

In 2014, Eckerd College and Florida Southern College met for the first half of a season-ending double-header. Chelsea Oglevie, pitcher for Florida Southern, had a 2-1 lead with one out remaining. That’s when Kara Oberer, an injured Eckerd player, stepped up to the plate and hit a three-run home run to take a 4-2 lead. Despite this being Oglevie’s final college appearance and giving up a go-ahead home run, she helped the injured Oberer round the bases safely. 

3. Justin Wadsworth and Anton Gafarov

Alright, let’s go back to the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Anton Gafarov, a Russian professional cross-country skier, had fallen early in the race and broken one of his skis. As the medal favorite, his chances were slipping as he tried to continue with the broken ski. That’s when Justin Wadsworth, a Canadian ski coach, ran onto the course – despite Gafarov’s Russian coaches doing nothing – with an extra ski and gave it to Gafarov.

2. Trinity Classical vs. Desert Chapel Basketball Game

This sports moment happened in 2014 when Desert Chapel Christian School was playing their final game of the season against Trinity Classical Academy in Santa Clarita, California. Desert Chapel was down 23 points with under a minute left. That’s when Trinity coach sent Beau Howell – an autistic player – into the game. Despite missing his first few attempts, the Desert Chapel players gave him the ball with 30 seconds left and let him score a basket in a moment Beau will remember forever. 

1. David Purley and Roger Williamson Formula 1 Race

Warning – this amazing sports moment has an unhappy ending. Roger Williamson had won the 1971 and 1972 British Formula 3 world championships before making his Formula One debut in 1973 with March Engineering. In just his second Formula One race, his car burst into flames after crashing into the side wall. Instead of driving by, David Purley got out of his car and ran to Williamson’s car in an attempt to get him out of the flames. 

He tried everything he could, including a fire extinguisher, but couldn’t rescue Williamson – who died on the scene. It’s an unhappy ending, but Purley did what several other drivers weren’t willing to do – stop in an attempt to save a life. 

Amazing Sports Moments Happen Every Day

I don’t know about you, but the sports moments we detailed above make me feel good about where this world is headed – especially amidst all the negativity we witness today. It’s refreshing to know that there are good people in the world, even on some of the world’s biggest stages. 

Perhaps the best part about sports moments like those listed above is that they reciprocate. Just by hearing these stories and witnessing them on video, I feel more inspired and motivated than ever to be a better person. It’s amazing what’s possible when we care for one another.

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If you enjoyed these amazing sports moments, then you’ll be delighted to know they aren’t going anywhere. Just look at the recent story of Anita Alvarez and Andrea Fuentes – sports moments like those are happening every day and we should take a moment to appreciate them.

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