Mark Spitz

Getty Images

Mark Spitz takes on Katie Ledecky’s challenge

Leave a comment

Swimmers around the world took on Katie Ledecky‘s milk-glass challenge since it became a social media sensation, including one of the few Americans with more Olympic gold medals.

Mark Spitz, who won seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games, took 10 strokes in an at-home pool while perfectly balancing a glass of what appeared to be water on his head.

“Would’ve been faster with the ‘stache, @markspitzusa, but I still give this 7 out of 7 gold medals,” Ledecky tweeted.

Spitz joined fellow Olympic champions Susie O’Neill of Australia and American Matt Grevers in posting similar videos to what Ledecky first shared Monday.

In Tokyo next year, Ledecky can pass Spitz’s career gold-medal count of nine if she wins all of her expected events — 200m, 400m, 800m and 1500m freestyles and the 4x200m free relay.

Then she would trail one athlete from any country in any sport — Michael Phelps, the 23-time gold medalist who has yet to post video of swimming while balancing a glass on his head.

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

Mark Spitz diagnosed with heart condition

Getty Images
4 Comments

Olympic swimming legend Mark Spitz was recently diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, or an irregular heartbeat, a rep for Spitz confirmed.

Spitz has worked with doctors over the last year to manage the condition, according to a social media post Wednesday, the 47th anniversary of winning his seventh gold medal at the Munich Olympics.

“After competing at that level, I never imagined that I would be diagnosed with a heart condition like this one,” was posted on Spitz’s Facebook and Twitter. “I feel lucky that I was able to catch this before it put me at serious risk for other heart complications. I look forward to spreading awareness about AFib as I learn more about this condition and live with my own diagnosis.”

Spitz, 69, held the record of seven golds at a single Games until Michael Phelps broke it with eight at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. He covered the Rio Olympics for Brazilian TV.

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Dana Vollmer at peace with retirement

Mark Spitz reflects on 1972 Olympics, Michael Phelps on TODAY (video)

Mark Spitz
TODAY
Leave a comment

Mark Spitz explained why he valued not only his seven 1972 Olympic gold medals, but also another item from the Munich Games in a TODAY interview published Thursday.

“I have a participant’s badge, it’s got the symbol from the Munich Olympics,” Spitz told Natalie Morales. “If that’s all I had, that’s more than most who never got there. … I’ve always thought of myself as just a regular guy, and I happened to do something extraordinary in the journey of my athletic career.”

Spitz, now 66 and without his famous mustache for 28 years, also reflected on his first Olympic appearance in 1968 (“the world thought that I had failed”), why he won’t wear purple and on Michael Phelps.

“I can never escape that personality of who I was as Mark Spitz,” he said. “Old Olympians just never sort of die, they just sort of fade away. All of a sudden, Michael Phelps showed up, and it sort of rejuvenated who I was.”

MORE: Spitz puts Michael Phelps’ career in perspective