Oh wait, you want to know about his actual accomplishments? Well, fine, I can do that too.
Mark set his first world record when he was 16, and won five gold medals at the 1967 Pan American Games, setting a new record that stood until 2007. He made his first Olympic appearance in 1968 as the holder of 10 world records and won two golds, a silver and a bronze, which obviously meant it was failure. I kid. But not really.
Mark went to Indiana University after the Olympics, won eight individual NCAA titles and was named the top amateur athlete in the U.S. in 1971. And then came the Munich Olympics in 1972.
His goal was to win six gold medals. And, well, he won seven, one for every event he swam in (and every event, period). He held the record for most gold medals won in a single Olympics until 2008, when Michael Phelps won eight. Mark also set a world record in every event at the Olympics, which in itself is a record that still stands. He's one of five Olympians all-time to have won more than nine gold medals in their career, and only Michael Phelps has more. No other swimmer has ever won so high a percentage of all gold medals awarded for Olympic events.
He also happens to be Jewish. L'chaim!
Mark Spitz was Michael Phelps before Michael Phelps was Michael Phelps. Chew on that one for a moment.
In "this was pretty awesome" news, this was pretty awesome:
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