I just don't think Mark Spitz is getting the respect he deserves. I've heard a lot of media saying things like "step aside Spitz". Plus nobody even invited him to the Bejing Olympics.
I'm a big fan of Michael Phelps and what he did is absolutely amazing. He's getting the appropriate amount of media hype, so let me just say a few things about Spitz.
- Spitz won 7 gold medals and broke 7 world records in the 1972 Olympics.
- He didn't have a Speedo LZR suit, he didn't even wear a swim cap.
- Phelps had a bad race because his goggles filled with water. Spitz didn't even wear goggles
- Swimmers are known to shave off all body hair. Spitz was planning on shaving his moustache when he got to Munich but he was getting so much attention from the media (and the ladies) that he kept it as a good luck charm.
- Spitz retired at age 22. Phelps is 23 right now. Think of the swimming Spitz could have done well into his 20's.
- Spitz came out of retirement at the age of 41 and went to the Olympic Trials in 1992. He missed the cut by 2 seconds. Sure that can be a lot in swimming but he was 41 and hadn't swam competitively in 20 years.
Spitz deserves much respect.