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Mark Spitz - History

Mark Spitz - History

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Mark Spitz


Olympic Athlete

Steinberg his son and President Johnson

Mark Spitz was born in Modesta California on February 10, 1950. His family spent a few year living in Hawaii where he took to swimming. By the age of 10 he was training seriously to become an Olympic swimmer. He went to Santa Clara High School were he held every record. In 1965 he participated in the Maccabiah Games in Israel where he broke every record.
Despite holding ten world records Spitz put in a disappointing performance at the 1968 Mexican Summer Olympics winning only two team gold and achieving only one silver medal.
Spitz decided to go to Indiana University whose swimming coach had a worldwide reputation. There Spitz led his swim team to four consecutive national championships.

In the 1972 Spitz achieved an Olympic record winning seven gold medals.That record stood until 2008. He was master of butterfly and freestyle swimming.
Prior to the 1992 Olympics, Spitz flirted briefly with the idea of an Olympic comeback, but failed to qualify. In the course of his swimming career, Spitz set 35 world records and is widely considered to have been the most talented swimmer in recorded history.


Mark Spitz: The Extraordinary Life of an Olympic Champion

Mark Spitz is best known as a Swimmer. American swimmer who won seven gold medals in the 1972 Munich Olympics, which has only been surpassed by Michael Phelps. Mark Spitz was born on February 10, 1950 in Modesto, CA. He held 17 national age group records by the time he was 10 years old. Mark Spitz is one of the most successful Swimmer. He has ranked on the list of famous people who were born on February 10, 1950.

Spitz was born on February 10, 1950, in Modesto, California, the first of three children of Lenore Sylvia (Smith) and Arnold Spitz. His family is Jewish his father’s family was from Hungary and his mother’s, originally surnamed “Sklotkovick”, were from Russia. When Spitz was two years old, his family moved to Honolulu, Hawaii, where he swam at Waikiki beach every day. “You should have seen that little boy dash into the ocean. He’d run like he was trying to commit suicide,” Lenore Spitz told a reporter for Time in 1968. At age six, his family returned to Sacramento, California, and he began to compete at his local swim club. At age nine, he was training at Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento with swimming coach Sherm Chavoor, who mentored six additional Olympic medal winners.

He returned to Israel in 1969 following the Mexico Olympics to again compete in the Maccabiah Games. This time, he won six gold medals. He was again named outstanding athlete of the Games.

He also has a position among the list of Most popular Swimmer. Mark is 1 of the famous people in our database with the age of 69 years old.

Family: Parents, Children & Relatives

He had two sons, Matthew and Justin, with his wife Suzy whom he married in May 1973. He has not shared enough information about family details. However, our team currently working, we will update Family, Sibling, Spouse and Childrens information.

Mark Andrew Spitz (born February 10, 1950) is an American former competitive swimmer and nine-time Olympic champion. He was the most successful athlete at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, winning seven gold medals, all in world record time. This was an achievement that lasted for 36 years until it was surpassed by fellow American Michael Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Between 1968 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic golds, a silver, and a bronze, in addition to 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, two of which were in trials and unofficial. Swimming World Magazine named him World Swimmer of the Year in 1969, 1971, and 1972. He was the third athlete to win nine Olympic gold medals.

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From 1964 to 1968, Spitz attended Santa Clara High School. After graduating he went on to Indiana University. At Indiana University from 1968 to 1972, he was a pre-dental student and member of Phi Kappa Psi fraternity. Time magazine asked him if he wanted to return to dental school after the Olympics. “I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972. I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. I did some television and speaking engagements, and things just went from there.”


Mark Spitz, the most famed athlete of all-time, is synonymous with excellence. His powerful swimming career launched him into celebrity, and gained him fans world-wide. During his career, Mark’s unparalleled abilities set him apart from the competition.

Mark was born the first of three children in Modesto, California to parents Arnold and Lenore Spitz. At age two, his family moved to Hawaii and he swam almost every day at Waikiki Beach. When Mark was just six years old, he began to compete at his local swim club. A few years later at the tender age of nine, he trained at Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento with Sherm Chavoor, the swimming coach who mentored him and six other Olympic medal winners. Before he was 10, Spitz held 17 national age-group records, and one world record. His family moved again when he was 14 years old, this time to train under George F. Haines of the Santa Clara Swim Club. During his four years there, Mark held national high school records in every stroke and in every distance. It was an unprecedented achievement.

Mark Spitz’s primary education took place at Santa Clara High School, California from 1964-1968. He completed his graduation from Indiana University, Bloomington. He used to be a pre-dental student. If not a swimmer, Spitz would have loved to be a dentist. He even considered being one as he was accepted to a dental school in 1972, although fate had other plans for him.

Spitz is the child of Jewish Arnold Spitz (father) and Lenore Sylvia (Smith) (mother) who was of Russian origin. He had two younger siblings.

Mark Spitz married Suzy Weiner (May 6, 1973) after returning from the Munich Olympics. Suzy Weiner, used to be a UCLA theatre student back then,and a part time model. She was the daughter to one of his father’s business acquaintances. They had a grandiloquent marriage ceremony at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

After the 1972 Olympics, Spitz was endorsed by companies and he had signed multiple corporate endorsement contracts which led to a profit of USD 7 million in two years. Spitz is currently, a self-employed corporate spokesperson and motivational speaker.

Massacre begins at Munich Olympics

During the 1972 Summer Olympics at Munich, in the early morning of September 5, a group of Palestinian terrorists storms the Olympic Village apartment of the Israeli athletes, killing two and taking nine others hostage. The terrorists were part of a group known as Black September, in return for the release of the hostages, they demanded that Israel release over 230 Arab prisoners being held in Israeli jails and two German terrorists. In an ensuing shootout at the Munich airport, the nine Israeli hostages were killed along with five terrorists and one West German policeman. Olympic competition was suspended for 24 hours to hold memorial services for the slain athletes.

The Munich Olympics opened on August 26, 1972, with 195 events and 7,173 athletes representing 121 countries. On the morning of September 5, Palestinian terrorists in ski masks ambushed the Israeli team. After negotiations to free the nine Israelis broke down, the terrorists took the hostages to the Munich airport. Once there, German police opened fire from rooftops and killed three of the terrorists. A gun battle erupted and left the hostages, two more Palestinians and a policeman dead.

After a memorial service was held for the athletes at the main Olympic stadium, International Olympic Committee President Avery Brundage ordered that the games continue, to show that the terrorists hadn’t won. Although the tragedy deeply marred the games, there were numerous moments of spectacular athletic achievement, including American swimmer Mark Spitz’s seven gold medals and teenage Russian gymnast Olga Korbut’s two dramatic gold-medal victories.

U. S. Marines Protected Spitz after the Munich Massacre

During the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, Palestinian terrorists captured and killed eleven Jewish Israeli athletes. The terrible event sparked fear that other Jewish athletes would be targeted. During the Munich Massacre, Shaul Ladany, a member of the Israeli track and field team, awoke to the sounds of the massacre. He got word to Bill Bowerman, the American track coach, about the attack. Bowerman called in the Marines to protect the Jewish American athletes at the Olympics, including javelin thrower, Bill Schmidt, and Spitz.

Origins of the sport

Swimming started its sporting journey in the mid-19th century, when the world’s first swimming organisation was formed in London in 1837.

Inevitably, things soon became competitive and, in 1846, the first swimming championship was held in Australia. The race became an annual event, and it was an early indicator for the future success of competitive swimming.

Swimming has been part of the Olympic schedule since the very first modern Olympic Games in 1896. It’s one of only four disciplines to have been retained, appearing in every summer Olympics since – the others being athletics, artistic gymnastics and fencing.

Where Is Mark Spitz? Michael Phelps, History, and a Lack of Class!

Where is Mark Spitz? Uninvited? Unwanted? Unseen? He has not yet been invited to Beijing, and if that remains the case, it will be because Olympic organizers are lacking, among others things, a sense of history and propriety.

It goes without saying that Mark Spitz holds the 36 year record of seven gold medals from a single Olympics. It should also be remembered that he broke the world record in all seven events. This is the granddaddy of all swimming records—and Phelps is expected to break it. Shouldn’t Spitz be there to watch it happen?

There is no need to go into detail about how that the Maris family was there to see McGuire break Roger’s single season HR record, or that Hammerin' Hank was invited to watch Bonds break his career mark. It is something called class, and that seems to be lacking, thus far, among the powers at the 2008 Olympics.

This is Phelps' time in the sun. No one can deny him center stage in what will arguably be the greatest feat in Olympics history, but it was Spitz who built the stage. Without Mark Spitz, there would be no record to shoot for.

Phelps and Spitz have lived in the same sentence from the day that we realized that Michael was something far beyond the exceptional. It has been Spitz and Phelps, and Phelps and Spitz, and it should be no different if the record falls as expected.

Mark Spitz has been a class act throughout Phelps' career—publicly stating that he is cheering for Michael as he chases down his hallowed record. Let’s hope that the Olympic Committee garners some class of its own and rolls out the red carpet for Spitz.

The passing of this baton should be done while the world watches. When it’s over, Mark Spitz will forever vanish from our view. He deserves to walk across center stage one final time—a stage that may belong to Michael Phelps forever.

The History of the Adidas Gazelle

Why does the Adidas Gazelle matter? The brand is now pushing the classic low-top —thanks to a heavy PR campaign and a ton of new iterations of the shoe𠅊s the next retro phenomenon to follow up the Stan Smith. The Gazelle is a shoe that started off in the sports world, has been worn by a handful of influential subcultures, and was favored by celebrities such as Oasis, Kate Moss,ਊnd a young Michael Jackson. And if you were perplexed as to how something that never seemed to go away could become the new thing to be excited about, the answer is convoluted. To really understand, we need to examine its history and legacy, but charting the history of specific Adidas shoes is never easy.

How the Gazelle Became the Shoe We All Know Today

Adidas is a brand rooted in Adi and son Horst Dassler’s absolute obsession with performance, and shoes were frequently updated. Due to licensing deals across the world, there’s no single “true” incarnation of the Gazelle.

Adidas had training designs that paved the way for the Gazelle. 1960’s Rom was a leather shoe with a ripple sole and suede toe overlay that was timed for the Rome Olympics that year and 1964’s Olympiade was a German team favorite, with then cutting-edge performance details like a pull tab on the back of the shoe. In 1966, that design DNA was upgraded to form the first Gazelle shoe. At the time, the use of a suede material was unique, and it was present on two iterations of the Gazelle.

For Gary Aspden, UK-based consultant for Adidas and the man behind the brand’s Spezial line, it&aposs a shoe that changed the direction of the brand&aposs training business. "The profile, the &aposT&apos toe overlay, and the contrast of the white stripes against brightly colored suede laid the foundations for so many shoes in the years that followed,” he says. 𠇊t their time of release, they pushed the envelope on color when it came to training shoes. The dyed suede was far more vibrant than colored leather.”

The color of the shoes actually denoted their performance purpose. The Gazelle Blue was made for training, with a kangaroo upper, padded ankle, arch support, foot-form tongue, and micro-grip sole. The Gazelle Red was created with handball in mind, incorporating a completely different transparent, non-slip outsole tread. The former is the inspiration for an iteration of the Gazelle sold by Adidas Originals as the Gazelle Vintage in 2006. By 1968, the Gazelle had lost that shoehorn heeltab, gained a new lined micro-cell sole, and developed a white heel tab to become the source material for the version of the Gazelle reissued by Adidas Originals as the Gazelle O.G.

Around 1971, that micro-cell sole was shared by both colorways and seemed to be switched to the cell pattern that’s echoed on subsequent versions to the present day. The Gazelle had a brush with controversy during the summer of 1972, when swimming legend Mark Spitz took a staggering seven Olympic gold medals in Munich. Encouraged not to let his loose track pants swallow his shoes by endorsee Horst Dassler, Spitz held his blue Gazelles aloft in triumph to celebrate a 200-meter freestyle win, both before and after the National Anthem. As well as invoking the wrath of the International Olympic Committee for product placement, it would, according to Barbara Smit’s book Pitch Invasion , cause some issues between Horst and Adi, who was about the shoes rather than any dips into swimwear.

The Gazelle then drifted in and out the Adidas catalog between 1972 and 1979. It seemed to be superseded by the Athens training shoe at one point and was replaced in 1973 by a lookalike shoe in red or blue called the Jaguar — named after the apex predator nemesis of the Gazelle — that didn’t seem to hang around for long. By now, the Gazelle seemed to have had its day as a pure performance shoe. Foreshadowing its fashion status, the inaugural edition of Japanese style bible Popeye from summer 1976 incorporated them in an early catalog-style sneaker feature.

Aspden sees other fan favorites from this period as a post-Gazelle development. "Whilst they were built on different tooling, one could argue that the flat, suede silhouettes from the Adidas &aposCity&apos series were all born out of the Gazelle aesthetic. Other key Adidas shoes like the Handball Spezial were clearly inspired by them, too," he says.

By 1979, Adidas had implemented its Special concept, where several old performance favorites were given uncompromising upgrades to maintain their relevance. The Gazelle Special debuted, with a transparent sole that used the Adidas Trefoil as its outsole pattern, a new shape and a redesigned forefoot. Originally sold as a handball shoe, it was also sold in the very early 1980s under the standalone Gazelle name. That rethink is the version of the Gazelle reissued as the Gazelle Indoor around 2011. The existence of this premium edition didn’t eliminate the simpler version, which had altered shape and construction by this point.

The Gazelle Becomes a Cultural Mainstay

For legions of young Brits in the early 1980s, Adidas shoes were something of a rite of passage. In the north of England, a version of the original Gazelle was fairly easily attainable and affordable. Like many, Aspden favors the early 1980s incarnation of the shoe. He and his friends in the northern English town of Darwen had local access to several Adidas designs, but only one would do. "We called shoes like Monaco, Madeira, and Samoa the &apospoor man’s Gazelles,’ as they had suede uppers but were a fiver cheaper than the Gazelle. Gazelle was the shoe everyone wanted," he says.

As hip-hop began to boom in Europe on the back of electro, rap and Malcolm McLaren’s shrewd repackaging of the culture, New York scene staples like Superstars or the Campus might have been sighted on record sleeves but, given basketball’s then niche status in most continents beyond the USA, they were scarce until their 1990s reissue. Gazelles were one of the closest things aesthetically and their reputation was strong. Subsequently, it became the shoe to have for a nascent hip-hop scene overseas. While the soccer-centric casual audience — those terrace types (hooligans to Americans) who were key to building Adidas from the late 1970s to the present day — have always loved the shoe, this imported realm of dance, music, and art was key to driving its popularity.

It was a culture of working with what you&aposve got that gave the shoe a new context. As Aspden recalls, "The stuff we saw the Americans wearing was not always available here, so kids would improvise and appropriate — that appropriation created a whole new hybrid look that took inspiration from the U.S. but was very British."

A lime pair was added to the classic duo of red and blue, giving fans a choice of three editions as of 1983/84. Aspden heard rumors of an unfounded fourth makeup that he puts down to someone trying to style out some red pairs put through the laundry, "There was a myth about baby pink/white as everyone was obsessed with all things in baby pink back then. I don&apost think I saw a pink pair until the 1990s," he says.

Having examined over 15 versions of the Gazelle for the newest reissue, Originals footwear designer Jean Khalifé has an explanation of that variety. �idas has always been about answering the specific demands for athletes and also local markets. When the brand started to become international and export products outside Europe, it changed manufacturers several times through the ages,” he says. “Of course, they started making shoes in West Germany, then France, Austria, Brazil, Argentina, and Canada. They differed because shoes were produced with different materials and different processes from one country to another.

At the start of the 1990s, the Beastie Boys’ experimental return to popularity saw them wearing some of the shoes they𠆝 been wearing back in their earliest Def Jam days. Mike D invested in the Los Angeles-based X-Large store that opened in late 1991, which stocked old suede Adidas and Puma pieces around its launch, with the Gazelle as a notable part of that dusty inventory. A newly underground skate world was becoming a world of intricate flip-tricks, 40mm wheels, and wide pants, and the Gazelle was a popular shoe for skating in for a short while.

The shoe was still a shoe for people in the know in the States, or at least on the East Coast. Adidas connoisseur and New York City resident Operator EMZ, who was chosen by the brand for part of its 𠇌ollectors Project” in 2013, says, “My first memory was seeing them on the west coast in the early �s. They were a lot easier to find than a pair of vintage Campus, circa �, and the soccer spots had colors. I remember cutting off the stripes of my black ones and rocking them on one of my trips back to New York, I was like NO ONE is gonna have Gazelles with cut off stripes in NYC.”

Adidas was a brand in a state of flux at the time of this suede shoe renaissance. In addition to pitching the newly launched EQT line that scrapped the Trefoil, former Nike staffers Peter Moore —who designed the Air Jordan 1𠅊nd Rob Strasser had pushed to launch a line called Originals (a decade ahead of the official launch of Adidas Originals) that would incorporate old classics and new versions of archive designs in response to this sudden interest in the classics. The Gazelle was present in that line, and a new version of the shoe debuted around 1991 that bulked up its shape a bit.

In the UK, a phenomenon called Britpop, built on music from bands like Oasis and Blur and the appropriately named Suede, penetrated popular culture in 1994 and made the Gazelle a mandatory accessory. Much of the music was forgettable lad-rock and was kitted out in the resurrection of Adidas Firebird tracksuit tops, skinny ringer tees, and pillaging of old sports brands.

Aspden respects the Manchester swagger of Oasis&aposs look circa 1994, but he also admires some other cultural luminaries&apos patronage of the shoe. “I love those images of Mick [Jagger] and Keith [Richards] from the Rolling Stones wearing Gazelles in the early �s. Another good image is Michael Jackson with his Afro and Gazelles in the Jackson 5 days. On a quirkier note, Arnold from the TV show Diff&aposrent Strokes wore them." It wasn&apost confined to a male audience, either, as he says, "They became standard issue for supermodels in the �s. Kate Moss wore them religiously, and there is that great shot of Helena Christensen nude with nothing but Gazelles on."

Recreating the Gazelle for 2016

Adidas’ trump card might be its recruitment of some employees who have an emotional attachment to their work. Khalifé was the right man to lead the newest retro. “I guess I am lucky in a sense that my favorite variant of the shoe is the early �s one,” he says. When I joined the brand one year ago and I was told that I would take care of resurrecting the shoe, it was like Christmas for me. I was born in the east of France and Adidas was always pretty popular in that area. I literally grew up with Gazelles on my feet.”

The �s version was chosen as the 2016 retro for its cultural impact during that decade, but Khalifé is aware that tales of past triumphs will only take you so far if you don’t tap into the zeitgeist. “It is not only about nostalgia. We believe that the shape and the features of that version speaks to a modern audience, too,” he says.

The latest reissue of the Gazelle is completely reengineered by Khalifé and the team, “We had to rework it completely from scratch and remake all the blueprints and technical drawings,” he says. “ Luckily, we had amazing resources and I was surrounded by fantastic technicians. Together we made sure to recreate the perfect archive shoe replica, millimeter-by-millimeter and stitch-by-stitch. We had to recreate a new tooling [the sole unit] with a specific foxing tape that has the exact same texture as the vintage Gazelle, too. The tongue is a key feature with all those recessed ribs.”

It&aposs a reissue that Aspden co-signs and says, "This re-launched version of the Gazelle for me sits in that spot between that pared down vintage look and those inflated and expanded later iterations."

For one cinematic role model, they&aposre still good enough to exercise in, as spotted by Aspden. "I was saying how to someone how the Gazelle has overtaken their original purpose and function and how no serious athlete would use a shoe like that to train in, and then I remembered seeing James Bond working out in a pair in one of the recent Daniel Craig films,” he says. “If they are good enough for James Bond to use in the gym, then who am I to argue otherwise?"

Mark Spitz, Olympic Swimmer

Long before there was Michael Phelps, there was Mark Spitz.

A confident competitor with his own signature style, Spitz rocked a &lsquo70s style mustache even though many athletes believe body hair slows a swimmer down in the water. It didn&rsquot seem to slow Spitz down: In the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, the U.S. swimming star won seven gold medals and set new world records in each of those events. His achievement remained unmatched for decades… until Phelps won eight gold medals in Beijing 36 years later.

Spitz&rsquo Olympic victory made him a household name and a highly marketable sex symbol. A poster of him wearing nothing but a skimpy Speedo, seven gold medals and, of course, the moustache, sold over 1 million copies. Yet as hard as he worked for Olympic gold, he was working equally hard on something else at the same time: his pre-dental studies at Indiana University.

&ldquoI always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972,&rdquo Spitz told Time magazine in 2004. &ldquoI was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. I did some television and speaking engagements, and things just went from there.&rdquo

Spitz landed endorsement deals with Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, General Motors and General Mills, among others. Later, he went into the real-estate business in Beverly Hills and became a motivational speaker.

As for having his medal-winning record broken, Spitz said he bears no ill will toward Phelps:

&ldquoWhat greater thing could I leave to the sport than to inspire somebody to have the desire to do what I did and take it a step further?&rdquo he told USA today in 2012. &ldquoI had that record for 36 years. That&rsquos an awfully long time.&rdquo

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Watch the video: Mark Spitz Documentary (August 2022).