A Newlywed Was Drowning. Then Came the Olympian

Italy's Filippo Magnini credited with saving man in Sardinia
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 9, 2019 7:03 AM CDT
Updated Jul 13, 2019 9:55 AM CDT
A Newlywed Was Drowning. Then Came the Olympian
Italy's Filippo Magnini looks up after a heat of the men's 100-meter freestyle during the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.   (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

"When I became conscious my first thought was about my husband." A few hours later, newlywed Andrea Benedetto "realized that Filippo Magnini was the man who saved my life." Magnini, an Olympic swimmer for Italy and former world champion in the 100m freestyle, was at Sardinia's Cala Sinzias beach last Sunday when Benedetto fell into the water from an inflatable unicorn, leaving his husband of two days struggling to keep the man's head above water, reports the BBC.

Closer to Benedetto than responding lifeguards, Magnini heard the cries for help and dove in. He held Benedetto's head above water, then laid him on a nearby airbed. "I just did what I had to," the 37-year-old tells Italy's Corriere Dello Sport, per the Independent. Benedetto, unable to move his limbs in the cold water because of a medical condition, "had swallowed some seawater" and "wasn't even able to speak," the swimmer adds. Treated at a hospital, Benedetto hopes to thank Magnini in person. (More uplifting news stories.)

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