Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Where's Spitz?

Deadspin has a great piece on the IOC's neglecting to invite Mark Spitz to Beijing, where his record of seven gold medals and seven world records in one Olympics likely will be matched or surpassed by Michael Phelps later this week. (Last night Phelps broke Spitz's record of nine all-time gold medals.) Though Bob Costas and others say the name "Mark Spitz" several times in every broadcast, NBC has done very little to remember and celebrate the greatness of what Spitz did in Munich in 1972. From Deadspin:

People tend to forget that in the early '70's Spitz was considered by many the greatest athlete in history . . . . Not only did he win seven golds in Munich, but they came against the backdrop of one of sports' darkest chapters, the Munich Massacre, in which 11 Israeli athletes were killed by Palestinian terrorists. The first Olympics in Germany since Hitler's 1936 Games was not mankind's finest hour; a fact not lost on Spitz, who is Jewish. He didn't get to stick around for the closing ceremonies; being whisked away by police due to fears that he would be a target.

Spitz's absence in Beijing is both sad and strange.


Post a Comment

<< Home