Once considered the greatest Olympic athlete of all-time, the globally renowned Mark Spitz is synonymous with excellence. Voted Athlete of the Century in water sports and one of the six greatest Olympians ever by Sports Illustrated in 2000, he remains one of the most recognized faces in the world today.
Although he won 11 Olympic medals over two Olympic Games, Spitz will always be best remembered for his remarkable seven gold medals at the 1972 Games. It was during the Summer Games in Munich that Spitz set four individual world records: 100-meter and 200-meter freestyle, and 100-meter and 200-meter butterfly. He also had a hand in setting three relay event world records: 4x100 freestyle, 4x200 freestyle, and 4x100 medley. He swam the third leg of the 200 freestyle and 100 medley, and the last leg of the 100 freestyle. Spitz’s final victory came only hours before Palestinian terrorists took hostage and eventually murdered 11 Israeli athletes in the Munich Olympic Village.
Between 1965 and 1972, Spitz won nine Olympic gold medals, one silver, and one bronze; five Pan-American gold medals; 31 National US Amateur Athletic Union titles; and eight US National Collegiate Athletic Association Championships. During those years, he set 33 World records.
Spitz was World Swimmer of the Year in 1967, 1971, and 1972. In 1971, he became the first Jewish recipient of the James E. Sullivan Award, given annually to the Amateur Athlete of the Year. In 2000, Sports Illustrated named him number 33 on its list of the “Top 100 Athletes of the 20th Century.”
A highly requested keynote speaker throughout the world, Spitz has done endorsements for Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, John Hancock Financial Services, General Motors, General Mills, Swatch, and many others.
Not limited to motivational or Olympic focused speeches, Spitz also reflects on the current geo-political climate, as fueled by memories of the terrorist attacks at the 1972 Games. Additionally, he is a Series 7 licensed broker who co-owns a brokerage company that oversees $100 million in assets for high net worth individuals.