Monday, September 15, 2008

Canopy of Olympic Dreams

When you see this image, think of seven gold medals. Of course, the image is the roof of the innovative swimming and diving structure that captivated the world in 1972 (Munich locals can swim 7 days a week here). Before Michael Phelps proved to be the most celebrated Olympian of all time, American swimmer, Spitz, dominated the pool with a flair all his own. Unlike Phelps, who allowed the media to make predictions for him, Spitz predicted 7 gold and world records in 7 races, and that is exactly what he did. Spitz left what was West Germany at the time before the closing ceremonies, after Palestinian militants killed Jewish athletes and coaches. Despite the “Munich Massacre” as it was called, Spitz returned to the US as a national hero, said to be the second most recognizable face in America (second only to Richard Nixon). He has since made a career as a corporate spokesperson, a short-lived acting career, and eventually a real estate business in Beverly Hills, close to where he has settled today with his family. To this day, he refuses to race his kids in his backyard pool, because as he says, “I don’t care if you are my son. If I’m racing, I’m going to kick your butt.”

4 comments:

headbang8 said...

And not forgetting that "Spitz" in German means "peak"--which he was for a while.

Funny, I thought I read somewhere that he was a dentist?

babooshka said...

That was a facinating post and fabulous overview image.

Jackie said...

That's a fantastic picture. I love the Olympic Stadium.

Troy said...

A dentist was one of 5-6 careers Mark has had since retiring from swimming (something he came back to do once again). Other career choices include stock broker, managing a water bottling company, and even an actor