Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion

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Overview


Mark Spitz is arguably the most famous and successful Olympic athlete of all time because of his legendary performances at the 1972 Olympics, where he won seven gold medals while breaking seven world records. His amazing life story is told for the first time in the authorized biography Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion.

This exclusive account follows Spitz’s roller-coaster career: age-group prodigy, four-medal "flop" at the 1968 Olympics, outstanding ...

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Overview


Mark Spitz is arguably the most famous and successful Olympic athlete of all time because of his legendary performances at the 1972 Olympics, where he won seven gold medals while breaking seven world records. His amazing life story is told for the first time in the authorized biography Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion.

This exclusive account follows Spitz’s roller-coaster career: age-group prodigy, four-medal "flop" at the 1968 Olympics, outstanding collegiate career at Indiana University, gold-medal haul in 1972, lucrative endorsements, and a brief and unsuccessful stint in entertainment.

And the meatier stories—the role his father played in his career, his often stormy relationship with coaches and teammates, his experiences as a Jewish athlete with anti-Semitism and the Munich massacre, his impact on the commercialization of swimming, his relationship with Michael Phelps, and others—have been largely unknown, ignored, barely touched upon, or distorted.

Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion provides insights into Spitz’s career, behind-the-scenes anecdotes about him and his competitors, and untold stories that shed light on his complicated personality and relationship with his father. Old and new fans alike will appreciate the depth and details of this swimming icon’s story.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Foster's balanced and meticulous retelling of Spitz's challenges, struggles, and triumphs is informed by extensive interviews with Spitz as well as his family, coaches, and competitors. Spitz is perhaps the finest swimmer of all time, and his ongoing life is well recounted here.  —Library Journal

"Fans of Mark Spitz and swimming in general will love this thorough look at the personal and professional lives of this great Olympian."  —Mark Schubert, head Olympic coach, USA Swimming

"Mark Spitz is one of the most significant figures in the history of the Olympic Games and is a remarkable human being. His story is long overdue."  —Peter Ueberroth, chairman, United States Olympic Committee

"Rich Foster not only captures the magnificent story of Mark Spitz's career, he also masterfully describes the politics and intrigue of the 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games."  —Bob Seagren, Olympic gold medalist, pole vault (1968), and Olympic silver medalist, pole vault (1972)

"A marvelous look at a legendary athlete and a complex man."  —Chuck Wielgus, executive director, USA Swimming

"I have known Mark for 35 years. He is a true Olympic icon. We have traveled the world together. What a life he has led!" —Bruce Jenner, Olympic gold medalist, decathalon (1976)

"Rich Foster does a magnificent job telling the true story of the greatest swimmer of all time."  —Brent Rutemiller, publisher, Swimming World Magazine

"This is a riveting, inspiring look at one of the most important American athletes in the history of sports."  —Ross Wales, former honorary secretary, FINA, and Olympic bronze medalist, 100-meter butterfly (1968)

Mark Schubert
Fans of Mark Spitz and swimming in general will love this thorough look at the personal and professional lives of this great Olympian. (Mark Schubert, head Olympic coach, USA Swimming)
Library Journal

It's been 36 years since Mark Spitz won a record seven gold medals in swimming during the tragic 1972 Munich Olympics, and he remains a giant figure in the history of both competitive swimming and the Olympics. The iconic photograph of Spitz wearing his swimsuit and all seven medals was the best-selling poster of a sports figure until the late 1970s. Foster, the current president of United States Aquatic Sports and a former member of the U.S. Olympic Committee, takes the reader back to Spitz's turbulent youth, when he was seen by many as an arrogant jerk. Foster's balanced and meticulous retelling of Spitz's challenges, struggles, and triumphs is informed by extensive interviews with Spitz as well as his family, coaches, and competitors. Furthermore, the fine points of swim racing are discussed here, at times in overwhelming detail. While swimming does not generally garner the interest that other sports do, Spitz is perhaps the finest swimmer of all time, and his ongoing life is well recounted here. Recommended for collections focused on swimming or the Olympics.
—John Maxymuk

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781595800398
  • Publisher: Santa Monica Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/2008
  • Pages: 360
  • Sales rank: 707,533
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author


Richard J. Foster is the current president of United States Aquatic Sports, the umbrella organization that represents all U.S. aquatic sports (swimming, water polo, synchronized swimming, and diving) in the international governing body. He has also served as a board member of the United States Olympic Committee and as president of USA Water Polo for twelve years. A practicing attorney, Foster specializes in sports law and has represented numerous Olympic and professional athletes. He also teaches a graduate-level sports law course at Long Beach State University. He lives in Long Beach, California.
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Table of Contents


Acknowledgments     5
Foreword   Mark Spitz     7
Introduction   Keith Jackson     9
A Favorite Color Emerges     11
Swimming for Sherm     25
The Move to Santa Clara     33
The 1968 Swim Camp Cabal     45
Four-Medal "Flop" in Mexico City     67
Finding Doc     87
The NCAA Years and the Spitz-Russell Rematch     97
Change for the Better     117
Pressure at the 1972 Trials     131
On the Road to Redemption     145
What If?     159
Hump Day     181
History is Made     191
"They're All Gone"     201
{dollar}ign{dollar} of the Time{dollar}     215
Back in the Water     229
Presidents, Kings, and Queens     243
Similar Goals, Different Journeys     255
Epilogue-Where Are They Now?     271
Mark Spitz's World Records     281
Index     283
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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2013

    Cool

    We were talking about him once. My dad brought up this:
    How do they fill up the Olympic Pool? Mark Spitz.
    Lol.
    Should I get it?
    -Swimmer Forever (SwimGirl)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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