Today in Sports History #3 - Mark Spitz is born - February 10, 1950

in history •  3 years ago 

Today in Sports History presents an awesome date  from: 1950 - February 10 - one of the most successful athletes of all times has been born - the hero of the 1972 Olympics in Munich - Happy Birthday Mark Spitz.

Mark won seven Gold Medals in Swimming during the Olympic Games in Munich only and was used to be the Olympic hero of all time - no one ever thought there would be someone to win more medals (but another US athletes overtook him, see below)!

Biography (excerpt and summarised via Wikipedia)

Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is an American former competitive swimmer, nine-time Olympic champion, and former world record-holder in seven events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed in 1972. Spitz holds more medals than any other Jewish athlete in the history of the Olympics.[1]
Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds, a silver, and a bronze; five Pan American golds; 31 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles; and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles. During those years, he set 35 world records, but two were in trials and unofficial.[2][3] He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1972 by Swimming World Magazine. He was the third athlete to win nine Olympic gold medals.

While there is someone called Michael Phelps that has won more medals in total does not mean he is the better athlete all-time - Mark Spitz is probably still the greatest swimmer ever as during his career less options to win medals did exist! And Mark Spitz did retire at the age of 22 already!

Famous moustache as personal brand

Mark was known for his moustache - looks a bit like Thomas Magnum if you know what I mean - during an era when male and female swimmers were shaving body hair to wwim faster. When asked why he initially grew one he stated "I grew the moustache because a coach in college said I couldn't grow one." - So Mark did win even with a slowing moustache - so no question who the greatest athlete of all time is - or have you seen Phelps that way?

After his retirement someone tried to convince him to shaving off his moustache for a year, and he finally did - comment of his wife Suzy was - " he looks so handsome without it."

Spitz, who was widely regarded as America's greatest swimmer before Phelps splashed onto the scene, was photographed by Terry O’Neill (Source Daily Mail) with his medals dangling around his neck after the 1972 Games in Munich

Photo Sources: Daily Mail and Wikipedia

To see what happened in Sports History check links below:

February 9: Volleyball invented

February 8: First NFL Draft

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Thanks guys @steemtrail - interestingly your comment has even more reward as the entire post - but not giving up with #Sports #History

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awesome advise lovely @cheetah - we could not survive here without your directions on what we quoted lol!

I remember those Olympics very well! We were all so amazed at this guy ... 7 golds! Yes, Phelps came along and wowed us again but this was ground-breaking stuff, almost more remarkable for its novelty. Thank you, great post.

thx buddy - you remember? Thought you were not even close to be born to that time :-)

I was 13!! I remember all too well. I shall take your remark as a generous piece of flattery!!

oh wow - thought you would be much younger :-)

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my pleasure @bluetechno - welcome on steemit - let us speak next days - important you dive into all kind of advise posts around #steemit - check the tag - check the white paper, all apps around steemit - this is not just a social platform but more a social infrastructure - will send some helpful links over the weekend - make yourself familiar with markdown, format is important too - here is a lot to learn, it took me long to understand, now i am getting more used to how this all works!

Okay, thank you very much @uwelang !

no worries my friend