Mark Spitz is remembered as one of the greatest Olympic swimmers ever. He won nine Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze, while setting 33 world records.
Spitz’s career high point was the 1972 Olympics in Munich, the infamous Olympics in which 11 Israeli athletes were captured and killed by Palestinian terrorists. He entered seven events and won gold in each – while also setting world records. Initially, he was reluctant to enter the 100 meter freestyle race. He told a reporter, “I know I say I don’t want to swim before every event, but this time I’m serious. If I swim six and win six, I’ll be a hero. If I swim seven and win six, I’ll be a failure.”
Mr. Personality, he wasn’t. Mr. Ego, he still is. Want proof? Here’s the introduction on his official website: “Mark Spitz, most notable athlete of all-time, is synonymous with excellence.” Well, if you don’t tell us about it, Mark, who will?
Spitz is in the International Swimming Hall of Fame and the United States Olympic Hall of Fame. Spitz ranked #33 on ESPN’s list of the SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes.