Mark was introduced to swimming as soon as he could walk. His dad, Arnold Spitz who was an executive for a steel company, moved to Waikiki Beach, Hawaii. Mark swam at the ocean everyday, running like suicide on the beach. He moved back to California, where he also now lives.
At the age of 15, at the Maccabiah Games in Tel Aviv in August 1965, Spitz won four gold medals and was named the most outstanding athlete. That was the beginning of the long list of achievements he will make. In the 1968 Olympics in Mexico City, Spitz won 2 gold medals, 1 silver, and 1 bronze. Many people expected him to do better than that and he did in 1972 when spits became the first person ever to get 6 medals in 1 Olympiad. Then he got another medal so the record will be out of reach from some people.
One very sad thing happened in the 1972 Munich games. 11 Israeli athletes were murdered during the games. They were German terrorists that kidnapped them but wound up killing them. Spitz was later protected heavily since they found out he was a Jew and since he had 7 gold medals, he was a prime target.
Mark Spitz won the gold medals in 100 and 200 freestyle, the 100 and 200 butterfly and from three relays, all in world record time. If you ever thought that was a lot of world records, that wasn't all. Mark Spitz got 35 U.S. records and 23 world records. Mark Spitz is the most decorated Olympic swimmer ever. He is who I chose as my Olympic athlete. [continues]
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