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The Mark Spitz

Outstanding Olympian and 1977 ISHOF honor swimmer

Author Unknown | August 8, 2000

Mark Spitz (USA) was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame as an Honor Swimmer in 1977. The following text was included in the program for the induction ceremony of that year:

THE RECORD: nine golds, one silver, one bronze in 1968 and 1972 Olympics. First man to win seven golds in one Olympics (1972). Five golds at 1967 Pan-American Games. Twenty six world records and on seven world record relays. Twenty four National AAU Championships. Twenty five American records and on 13 American record relays. Eight NCAA titles. Four times NCAA Champion in 100-yard butterfly (1969-1970-1971-1972). 1972 "World Swimmer of the Year."

Mark Spitz was the 1971 Sullivan Award winner as the AAU's top athlete in any sport, an omen of things to come. His seven gold medals in the 1972 Olympics are all the more remarkable in that all were world records. They were in such varied distances as the sprint 100-meter freestyle and the endurance 200-meter butterfly. He was everybody's World Athlete of the Year for 1972 and along with Johnny Weissmuller is rated one of the greatest swimmers the world has ever known. This remarkable consistency was not easily come by. Always brilliant he ranged from the world's best 10-and-under to the most disappointing swimmer at the 1968 Olympics before sticking it to his critics once and for all in Munich. Spitz was fortunate to have three of the greatest swim coaches the United States has known—Hall of Famers Sherm Chavoor, Doc Counsilman and George Haines.

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