Former American swimmer Mark Spitz, also known as The Pool Shark, is a nine-time Olympic medalist.
Moreover, Mark Spitz was voted the most successful athlete in the 1972 Summer Olympics.
Also, in the 1972 Summer Olympics, the American-born swimmer won seven gold medals.
For 36 years, his record of seven gold medals stood. In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps finally broke Spitz’s record by earning eight gold medals.
The American swimmer is widely regarded as the world’s fastest swimmer and has been inducted into numerous halls of fame.
|Mark Andrew Spitz
|February 10, 1950
|Los Angeles, California
|Sailing, Collecting art, and Skiing
|Lenore Sylvia (Smith)
|Heidi Rose Spitz, Nancy Spitz
|74 Years Old
|183 cm (6 feet)
|160 lbs. (73kg)
|Team USA, Arden Hills Swim Club, Indiana University
|Matthew Weiner and Justin Weiner
|$20 million (as of 2024)
|Instagram, Twitter, Facebook
|Posters, Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion
Mark Spitz: Age, Height, and Weight
Mark Spitz is now 74 years old. He is in perfect shape for his age.
The competitive swimmer stands 1.83 meters tall and weighs roughly 73 kilograms (160 pounds).
Mark Spitz: Early Life
Arnold Spitz and Lenore Sylvia’s first son, Mark Spitz, was born on February 10, 1950. He grew up with two siblings and began swimming at a young age.
His family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, when he was two years old.
Moreover, it was there that Mark learned to swim and was subsequently taught by his father, Arnold.
After that, the family returned to California. He began swimming competitively.
Mark Spitz was six years old when he participated in his first swimming competition.
Mark Spitz began swimming lessons at the Ardel Hills Swim Club in Sacramento when he was nine years old.
In addition, Shem Chavoor was his teacher. He was rated the best under-10 swimmer in the world.
Mark Spitz: Swimming Career
Following his poor 1968 Olympic performance, Mark Spitz trained and attended Indiana University.
Again, he received training from the greatest “Doc Counsilman,” the famed Indiana Hoosiers coach. He also coached Spitz in Mexico City.
After working with Counsilman, the swimmer remarked that it was the best decision he had ever made.
Moreover, his hard work paid off as he won eight NCAA titles and set many US Olympic Swim Trials records.
In 1965, the pool shark entered the international competition for the first time. He was only fifteen years old at his very first international swimming competition.
The fastest swimmer in history won four gold medals and was named “Most Outstanding Athlete.”
He was given the distinction of lighting the torch at the Maccabiah Games opening ceremony because of his achievements.
Moreover, at the 17th Maccabiah Games, Mark Spitz was a member of the US delegation in 2005.
PAN American Games
The fastest swimmer set a record of five gold medals at the 1967 Pan American Games, which stood for forty years.
Finally, Thiago Pereira, a Brazilian swimmer, broke his record by winning six gold medals in 2007.
Before his debut on the world’s most prestigious stage, the Olympic Games, he already had ten world records under his belt.
The athlete confidently said, “He would win at least six gold medals in the 1968 Summer Olympics.”
His audacity, however, backfired, as he only won two events: the 4* 100-meter freestyle and the 4* 200-meter freestyle.
Unfortunately, he lost his world record in the 100-meter freestyle to Doug Russell, only to beat Russell five days later and set a new record again.
Mark Spitz didn’t just perform what he stated he would do at the 1968 Summer Olympics; he did it better in the 1972 Olympics.
As he earned seven Olympic gold medals during the 1972 Olympics.
The Pool Shark not only won seven gold medals, but he also set world records in every event he competed in.
- 100-meter freestyle: 51.22
- 200-meter freestyle: 1:52.78
- 100-meter butterfly: 54.27
- 200-meter butterfly: 2:00.70
- 4*100-meter freestyle relay: 3:26.42
- 4*200-meter freestyle relay: 7:35.78
- 4*100-meter medley relay: 3:48.16
He is one of just five athletes in Olympic history to have won nine or more gold medals.
Only Michael Phelps, the world’s best swimmer, has won more medals than Mark Andrew Spitz.
In the 2008 Summer Olympics, Michael Phelps also broke Spitz’s seven gold medals in a single Olympics.
Moreover, for his contribution to swimming Mark Spitz was inducted into:
- International Swimming Hall of Fame in 1977
- International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 1979
- US Olympic Hall of Fame in 1983
- National Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2007
Mark Spitz: Film and TV
After retiring from competitive swimming, Spitz was managed by William Morris Agency.
Moreover, William Morris Agency wanted to get him into show business because he was a household name.
In 1972, Mark Spitz featured in a Bob Hope program as himself.
In addition, he worked on several sports presentations due to his athletic aptitude and experience, including the Summer Olympics in 1976 and 1984.
He was also a guest on Dean Martin’s Celebrity Roast.
Freedom’s Fury, a Hungarian documentary, was narrated by Mark Spitz.
Moreover, it was about a contest between the Olympic water polo teams. Because of its ferocity and epicness, the match was named Blood in the Water.
As Mark Spitz began to make his mark on the world stage. Everyone wanted him to be a spokesperson for their company.
He appeared in commercials for the California Milk Advisory Board and Schick razors. His most well-known commercial was for PlayStation.
In a TV ad for PlayStation in 1998, Mark Spitz appeared alongside Evel Knievel.
You may like to read about the Top 12 Best Online Games of this year.
Mark Spitz: Controversies
The shoe incident
The scandals surrounding the swiftest swimmer on the planet are well-known.
During the 1972 Olympics, he was accused of using product placement during the medal ceremony.
He walked up to the podium barefoot, waving his shoes in the air. The Soviets viewed this as a product placement technique.
The 2008 Summer Olympics invitation
Spitz belittled at the 2008 Summer Olympics when Phelps broke his record for the most gold medals in a one Olympics event.
Despite feeling misled and disappointed when he was not invited to the Olympics, Spitz maintained no animosity toward Michael Phelps.
Moreover, he even admitted to Michael being the greatest Olympic athlete in an interview.
Testing for drugs: Is it done correctly?
Mark Spitz has always been critical of FINA and the IOC, two key swimming governing bodies.
He has criticized the major swimming governing bodies for not doing enough to keep drugs out of the sport.
Due to the emphasis on conducting sports events, Spitz has stated that they do not want to test for everything.
In addition, the athlete accused them of prioritizing a good show over a fair show.
Mark Spitz: Personal Life
After returning from the Olympics, he began dating Suzy Weiner. Suzy Weiner was a part-time model and a student.
On May 6, 1973, little than a year after the Munich Olympics, the couple tied the knot. Mathew and Justin are their two sons.
Justin is a member of the Stanford swim team, following in his father’s footsteps.
From 1964 to 1966, Spitz attended Santa Clara High School. He was a four-year high school student.
He subsequently went to Indiana University to improve his swimming skills while simultaneously studying dentistry.
After retiring from swimming, Mark Spitz was diagnosed with Acid Reflux Disease. Physicians felt he had been afflicted with this ailment for the whole of his career.
He is also a cholesterol patient and has also suffered from other chronic diseases.
Mark Spitz: Some Interesting Facts
His swimming abilities have earned him the nickname “Mark the Pool Shark.”
When he was only ten years old, he achieved a world record.
In the Olympics, his mustache became well-known. It was related to a period when swimmers shaved their bodies. Mark swam with a mustache.
Moreover, the athlete was featured in a pin-up.
Mark Spitz is currently a stockbroker and motivational speaker.
Mark Spitz: Net Worth
The American swimmer is a multi-millionaire with a net worth of $20 million (as of 2024).
In addition, he has amassed a sizable fortune as a result of his numerous medals and accolades.
Spitz has also appeared on television and has appeared in several series.
In addition, Spitz has appeared in various shows, including The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and Emergency.
Mark Spitz is an active social media user. In his Facebook account, Mark has over 13k followers.
Are Mark and Suzy Spitz still married?
Mark and Suzy have been married for four decades now. They married in 1973 and are the parents of two children.
Moreover, they are still together.
Who was better, Mark Spitz or Michael Phelps?
In their peak, both athletes were excellent athletes. However, according to the now 74 year old, Michael Phelps was the greatest athlete ever.
Mark Spitz set a record, which was broken 36 years later by Michael.
Is Mark Spitz ill?
The Pool Shark has been diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation. This disease causes a person’s heart to tremble or beat irregularly, which can cause serious complications.
As a result, Mark Spitz is ill and also suffers from cholesterol, for which he is taking the necessary medications.
Is Mark Spitz Gay?
He is a straight man, having married Suzy Weiner on May 6, 1973. They are the parents of two children. His sexual orientation is straight.
Following the Munich Olympics, Mark and Suzy Spitz began dating.