Mark Spitz is an American professional swimmer who became the first athlete to win seven medals in the same game at the 1972 Munich Olympics.
Mark, whose full name is Mark Andrew Spitz, has nine Olympic and five Pan American Games gold medals under his name. In addition, he is often considered one of the best swimmers in history.
He started swimming from a very young age while growing up in California and Hawaii. By the age of six, he was already participating in swimming competitions.
And, when he was ten, he had earned 17 different swimming records in the USA for his age group competitions.
Despite the applaudable swimming career, Mark Spitz retired from the game at the very young age of 22.
But shortly after his retirement, he was inducted into the International Swimming and USA Hall of Fame.
It is the fact that Mark forever changed the importance of swimming sport. He is the true legend who will be forever remembered for that unique mustache and competition dominance.
This article brings you Mark Spitz’s early life, his road to fame, personal life, net worth, and other lesser-known facts.
But first of all, let’s sneak peek into his quick facts.
Mark Spitz | Quick Facts
|Full Name||Mark Andrew Spitz|
|Common Name||Mark Spitz|
|Date of Birth||February 10, 1950|
|Place of Birth||Modesto, California, United States|
|Nickname||“Mark the Shark”|
|Father’s Name||Arnold Spitz|
|Mother’s Name||Lenore Sylvia Spitz|
|Local Swim Club||Santa Clara High School|
|Height||6 feet (1.82 m)|
|Weight||83 kg (182 lb)|
|Wife||Suzy Weiner (married in 1973)|
|Children||Two Sons, Matthew and Justin|
|Coach||Sherm Chavoor, Doc Counsilman|
|National Team||United States|
|Awards and Achievements||
|Net Worth||$20 Million|
|Residence||Los Angeles, California|
|Hobbies||Sailing, Skiing, and collecting arts|
|Social Handle||Instagram, Twitter|
|Merch||Mark Spitz T-Shirt, Skipper Jacket, Portrait|
|Last Update||July, 2022|
Mark Spitz | Childhood and Parenting
Spitz was born on February 10, 1950, in a Jewish family to Arnold Spitz and Lenore Sylvia. He was the eldest child and grew up with two siblings in a loving and caring home.
Mark was born in Hungary, and his mother was born in Russia. As a result, he grew up in a mixed-race family.
The family is of Jewish origin. When he was two years old, his family relocated to Honolulu, Hawaii. They later relocated to California.
He was gifted with swimming abilities from a young age, so he was given full support to pursue a swimming career. Mark began competing in local swimming clubs when he was six years old.
After three years, Mark met Arden Hills Swim Club coach Sherm Chavoor in California. Mark worked hard with Chavoor and began performing very well in competitions.
At the age of ten, the prodigy established a world record for his age group as well as 17 national records. He successfully made his way to more records and victories.
Mark was not only a gifted swimmer, but he was also an excellent student. He went to Santa Clara High School before enrolling at Indiana University.
In 1972, he graduated from Indiana University with a dental degree.
Mark Spitz | Height, Weight, and Age
On February 10, 1950, Mark was born. He is 72 years old and born under the sign of Aquarius. He is 6 feet tall and weighs approximately 73 kg.
Aside from his powerful legs and exceptional techniques, his mustache stands out.
Mark Spitz’s signature look is a unique outcropping of hair among his clean-shaven body and the miniature trunks he wore at Munich events.
Career | Mark Spitz
Following the 1972 Olympics, Mark took the swimming world by storm with mind-blowing techniques. He had previously ruled on a continental scale.
In 1965, the American swimmer excelled in a variety of events at the Maccabiah Games and dominated the competitions.
He won his first Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) title in the 100-meter butterfly in 1966 (at the age of 16). Later, he was introduced to international swimming competitions and won the game by setting a world record in the 400-meter freestyle with a timing-worth world record.
He won five medals and defeated several regional competitors at the 1967 Pan American Games in Winnipeg, Canada. Mark was chosen for the 1968 Mexico Olympics as a result of his Pan American Games record-breaking performance.
The fastest swimmer was able to taste the thrill of winning the first Olympic gold medal in 1968. He won gold in both the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle relays.
And He achieved Olympic success by winning two gold medals in the 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle relays. He also won silver in the individual 100m butterfly and bronze in the 100m freestyle, in addition to two gold medals.
Despite winning four Olympic medals, Mark was dissatisfied with the outcome. As a result, he began to train harder than ever before in order to make history at the upcoming Munich 1972 Summer Olympics.
The Way to Fame
Spitz returned to compete in the Maccabiah Games in Israel in 1969. He trained with coach Doc Counsilman once more, who helped him fine-tune his strokes and other techniques.
During the US Olympic Swim Trials, he won eight individual NCAA titles and set numerous world records under the tutelage of coach Doc. Mark set a goal of winning at least six gold medals at the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich. However, he had no intention of competing in the 100m freestyle at first.
However, due to his strong start in the games, he changed his mind and competed in the 100m freestyle.
His decision to compete in the 100m freestyle event helped him make history. During the two weeks of the Olympics, the talented swimmer set a new World Record in each of the seven events in which he competed.
He was at the top of the podium in every swimming event at the 1972 Olympics. No one had ever won seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games before Mark.
The outcome of the 1972 Olympics catapulted his professional career to the next level and established him as an international sports icon.
Mark Spitz | Awards and Recognition
Swimming World named Spitz World Swimmer of the Year in 1967, 1971, and 1972. In 1971, Mark received the James E. Sullivan Award. In addition, he was named Associated Press Athlete of the Year the following year for his swimming performances.
Aside from those titles, the American swimmer has 8 National Collegiate Athlete Association (NCAA) titles and 31 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles from 1968 to 1972.
Retirement | Mark Spitz
After his performance at the Munich Olympics, Mark Spitz demonstrated to the world that anyone can achieve and succeed if they have a true passion and craving.
However, after returning home from the 1972 Mexico Olympics, the all-time fastest swimmer announced his retirement from the sport. He might want to leave the games while he’s still at the top of his game.
Spitz became involved in a variety of fields and sectors after retiring. With his own life story, he became a motivational speaker and inspired people all over the world.
He also started his own real estate company and became involved in lucrative endorsement deals.
Although Spitz’s swimming career ended abruptly at the age of 22, his performance and accomplishments are incomparable to many athletes who have spent their entire lives waiting for a single Olympic medal.
Wife and children of Mark Spitz
Spitz has been married to Suzy Spitz for more than 50 years. His relationship with Suzy began after he retired at the age of 22.
After dating for a while, the couple married on May 6, 1973. The Beverly Hills Hotel hosted a lavish wedding ceremony, complete with Jewish rituals and close friends and family. Suzy was born and raised in the United States before marrying. She was a UCLA theatre student who worked part-time as a model.
Mattew Spitz, the couple’s eldest son, was born in October 1981, and Justin Spitz, their youngest son, was born in September 1991.
According to some sources, Mark’s youngest son, Justin, is also a professional swimmer.
Net Worth of Mark Spitz
Spitz’s net worth is $20 million as of 2022.
Spitz earned money from endorsement deals and as a motivational speaker in addition to his competitive games. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the American swimmer’s outstanding performance at the Olympic Games in Munich earned him a $50,000 poster deal.
Similarly, Norman Brokaw of William Morris Agency arranged $5 million in endorsement and sponsorship deals for him. As a result, he became an early pioneer for a large sum of money in Olympic endorsements.
Mark Spitz | Facts
- Spitz’s impressive gold medals in Pan American Games in Winnipeg set a new Pan Am Games record for nearly 40 years. Thiago Pereira breaks his record only at the Rio 2007 Pan Games swimmer.
- His Olympic win record lasted for 36 years, and it was broken by fellow American Michael Phelps, who won eight golds at the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.
- In 1985, Mark Spitz was one to light the honorary torch opening ceremony of the Maccabiah Games.
- He is the 3rd athlete to win nine Olympic gold medals.
- The genius swimmer has the national high school record for every stroke and distance during his four-year span there.
Mark Spitz | Social Media Presence
Spitz is active on Twitter and Instagram. He keeps updating on social media platforms to his fans and well-wishers.
On Instagram, he has 7,442 followers and on Twitter, he has 4,827 followers as of December 2021. He uploads his pictures of him swimming and other memorable events.
MY IOC PROPOSAL: Sports icon Mark Spitz shares his Olympic blueprint to save Tokyo Games https://t.co/yH8MnIjZ3d
— Mark Spitz (@markspitzusa) January 27, 2021
He tweets his motivational speeches and other stuff related to sports.
Frequently Asked Questions(FAQs)
Is Mark Spitz ill?
Spitz has atrial fibrillation, commonly known as AFib. It is a condition where the heart beats erratically.
After being diagnosed with AFib, he is educating others about the condition.
Why did Mark Spitz have a mustache?
His mustache was a source of curiosity for other competitors in the old days. The poster of Spitz sporting his mustache and seven gold medals around his neck was a best seller product.
He grew a mustache in college on a bet with a coach that he couldn’t grow one.
You may also like: Carlos Yulo