Tuesday, March 31, 2015

March 31: Mark Spitz

On this date in History ... March 31, 1972:

Swimmer Mark Spitz was presented the Amateur Athletic Union’s coveted Sullivan Award as the outstanding amateur athlete of 1971. Spitz went on to Olympic heroics a few months later, winning seven gold medals. Raised in Hawaii where he swam every day, by the age of ten he held 17 national age group records and one world record. After competing in the 1968 Olympic games, Spitz enrolled at Indiana University before going to the 1972 Olympics where he won his seven legendary gold medals.

He set 33 world records and was voted "Athlete of the Century" in water sports.

During a time when most swimmers believed body hair slowed them down, Spitz was a stand-out by wearing "an iconic mustache" which he called his "good luck piece".

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