Produced in Modesto, California in 1950, Mark Spitz swam competitively in school for Indiana University before training for the Olympics. After moving to Hawaii at age 2, Spitz learned the best way to swim from his father, Arnold. The youthful Spitz took to the water just like a fish, swimming almost daily at Waikiki Beach.
The family returned to California after four years in Hawaii, and Spitz shortly started competitive swimming. By age 9, the family was training at the Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento under Sherm Chavoor, a well-known teacher who’d develop into a lifelong mentor. At 10, Spitz was already on course for Olympic success. Spitz held 17 national age group records plus one world mark, and was named the planet ‘s best 10-and-below swimmer. Spitz won the first of 24 AAU titles in 1966, as well as the subsequent year he got five gold medals in the Pan-American Games in Winnipeg, Canada.
Spitz entered the 1968 Summer Olympic Games in Mexico City brimming with confidence, even going to date as to call he had win six gold medals. Spitz did win two golds, but both came in team events; he rolled up a silver in the 100-meter butterfly and bronze medal in the 100-meter freestyle. Following the letdown in Mexico City, Spitz registered at Indiana University.
Spitz was better prepared for the contest in the 1972 Olympics in Munich, West Germany, which time he lived up to his exalted standards. Wearing what would become the Games’ most renowned mustache, Spitz claimed a record seven gold medals across individual and team contests, with all seven times establishing world records. Not everybody was thrilled with his accomplishment, yet, as the swimmer irritated both teammates and adversaries with his cockiness.
With officials concerned for the security of Spitz, he was immediately escorted out of West Germany before the close of the Olympics. Just days following the Munich Games, Spitz declared his retirement. But instead of going to dental school and fading from memory, he managed to leverage his achievement into money-making commercial opportunities. In 1973, he married a UCLA theatre student and part time model named Suzy Weiner, with whom he had two sons.
Spitz had earned $6 million through sanctions and other deals by 1974. But a powerful drive to make it in Hollywood never panned out, as the swimming amazing was criticized for his performing skill. Spitz finally settled into life in la and began a successful real estate company in Beverly Hills. Spitz also became a popular motivational speaker. In the early 1990s, Spitz tried to create a recovery by competing to get a position on the U.S. Olympic swimming team, but he neglected to qualify.