Mark Spitz, who is regarded as one of the greatest Olympic swimmers of all time is a native of the USA. He competed at both the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. Spitz set a world record for medals won by winning seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. The record stood for thirty six years until it was broken by fellow American Michael Phelps at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing.
Mark Andrew Spitz was born in Modesto, California in 1950. From an early age he showed promise as a swimmer. At age 16, in 1966, he won the 100m butterfly at the US Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) national championships. A year later Spitz set his first world record in the 400m freestyle. By the time he came to compete in the 1968 Olympics in Mexico he was already the holder of ten world records. However he won only two gold medals at the games and those were in the team events.
Four years later, at the Munich Olympics in 1972, Spitz won a record seven gold medals across individual and team competitions. He set world records in all of his seven wins. His success at the games was overshadowed by the Munich Massacre in which 17 people lost their lives. Spitz announced his retirement from competitive swimming a short time after the Munich Games.
Mark Spitz, regarded as one of the greatest Olympic swimmers of all time, was born in the year 1950 On This Day.