The 2014 European swimming championships began Wednesday with a frightening moment as officials scurried to pull an unconscious athlete from the water.
Natalia Charlos of Poland apparently over-exerted herself during the 10-kilometer open-water event. Officials and spectators noticed that the 21-year-old was in distress.
Photographs show a lifeguard helping the obviously ailing Charlos toward shore. She was taken to a nearby hospital.
"Upon arrival she was unresponsive," a German team official told Spiegel online. "She's probably overworked herself. Now she is again stable so far, she is approachable and has also recognized me."
In 2010, U.S. swimmer Fran Crippen died during a FINA 10K race in the United Arab Emirates.