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Mark Spitz          

Legendary Olympic Swimmer; Third Athlete to Win Nine Olympic Gold Medals

Once considered the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time, the globally renowned Mark Spitz is synonymous with excellence. Voted Athlete of the Century in water sports and one of the six greatest Olympians ever by Sports Illustrated in 2000, he remains one of the most recognized faces in the world today.

Although he won 11 Olympic medals over two Olympic Games, Spitz will always be best remembered for his remarkable seven gold medals at the 1972 Games. It was during the Summer Games in Munich that Spitz set four individual world records: 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle, and 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. He also had a hand in setting three relay event world records: 4x100 freestyle, 4x200 freestyle, and 4x100 medley. He swam the third leg of the 200 freestyle and 100 medley, and the last leg of the 100 freestyle. Spitz’s final victory came only hours before Palestinian terrorists took hostage and eventually murdered 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympic Village.

Between 1965 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze; five Pan-American gold medals; 31 National US Amateur Athletic Union titles; and eight US National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. During those years, he set 33 World records.

Spitz was World Swimmer of the Year in 1967, 1971, and 1972. In 1971, he became the first Jewish recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award, given annually to the Amateur Athlete of the Year. In 2000, Sports Illustrated named him number 33 on its list of the “Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century.”

Following the Munich Olympics, Spitz retired from competition even though he was only 22 years old. In 1999 Spitz ranked No. 33 on ESPN SportsCentury 50 Greatest Athletes, the only aquatic athlete to make the list.

At age 41, Spitz attempted a comeback for the 1992 Summer Olympics after filmmaker Bud Greenspan offered him a million dollars if he succeeded in qualifying. Filmed by Greenspan's cameras, Spitz did not beat the qualifying limit. He was two seconds slower than the requisite time to qualify for the Olympic trials.

A highly requested keynote speaker throughout the world, Spitz has done endorsements for Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, John Hancock Financial Services, General Motors, General Mills, Swatch, and many others.

Not limited to motivational or Olympic focused speeches, Spitz also reflects on the current geo-political climate, as fueled by memories of the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Games. Additionally, he is a Series 7 licensed broker who co-owns a brokerage company that oversees $100 million in assets for high net worth individuals.

Speech Topics

The Olympic Champion Within Everyone

Being a Jewish Athlete

What Makes a Champion

World Events (1972-Current)

Olympic Dream & Spirit


Mark Spitz nearly landed a leading role in 'Jaws' - NY Daily News
Fresh off his record-setting performance at the 1972 Munich games, American swimming legend Mark Spitz nearly landed a leading role in “Jaws” despite not ...
Olympian Mark Spitz Recalls Chilling Moments Of The 1972 Munich ...
When people talk about American swimmer Mark Spitz, they also talk about the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. It was there that Spitz achieved new world ...
Mark Spitz: I'm 'just a regular guy' who achieved Olympic swimming ...
Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz spoke about the formative moment as a kid that drove him to new heights and his legendary 1972 performance.

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