Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is an American former competition swimmer….nine-time Olympic champion….and former world record-holder in seven events. He won seven gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich….an achievement surpassed only by Michael Phelps….who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing. Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed in 1972….an achievement that still stands. Since the year 1900, no other swimmer has gained so great a percentage of all the medals awarded for Olympic events held in a single Games.
Between 1968 and 1972….Spitz won nine Olympic golds plus a silver and a bronze….five Pan American golds….31 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles….and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association(NCAA) titles. During those years….he set 35 world records….but two were in trials and unofficial. With his seven-gold medal performance at Munich in 1972….he was the most decorated athlete in the history of the Olympic Games until Michael Phelps’ eight gold medal performance at Beijing 36 years later in 2008. He was named World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971 and 1972 by Swimming World Magazine. He was the third athlete to win nine Olympic gold medals.