Last week my Dad sent me an article entitled, Swimming with Confidence, written by Lance Carter. It’s about a 17 year old named Mark Spitz and his goal, “to win as many medals as possible in Mexico City.”
We are really turning back time this Thursday, as this article is from the December 1967 issue of Sport Magazine.
A few notes from this Throw Back Thursday:
Even back in 1967 they were suggesting that Mark Spitz could win 8 gold medals (in Mexico City, not Munich, mind you). That wouldn’t happen for 41 more years — in 2008 — accomplished by the GOAT, Michael Phelps.
The great Don Schollander, 21 at the time of this article, was considered old and needed to be replaced since he was graduating from Yale. Professional swimming wasn’t even a thought.
A few quotes from this Throw Back Thursday:
“No matter what success he has in Mexico City, Spitz is unlikely to capture the hearts of Americans as did the charismic Schollander in 1964.”
– Lance Carter
“There are eight swimmers in that pool for a race but only one is a winner. The others are bums.”
– Arnold Spitz, Mark’s Father
“If I know I’m the best and feel it, and people then think I’m cocky, well there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m not going to pull the Simon Pure role. I know everyone can’t wait to see me knocked off…but I intend to swim through the 1972 Olympics — and I intend to go out as a winner.”
– Mark Spitz at 17 years old