The American swimming hero of the 1972 Munich Olympics, Mark Spitz, received a novel gift at the weekend (Saturday, 22 April) in Munich.
CU Mark Spitz swimming to starting block watched by children at pool side
SV Spitz presented with starting block (3 shots)
GV PAN Pool
SCU Spitz watching mothers teaching children to swim (3 shots)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The American swimming hero of the 1972 Munich Olympics, Mark Spitz, received a novel gift at the weekend (Saturday, 22 April) in Munich.
SYNOPSIS: Before the presentation, Spitz did a few laps of the Olympic pool showing the style that won him so many races. It was something of a rarity, for after the Olympic Games, Spitz gave up competitive swimming saving he'd had enough and had devoted too much of his life to the sport. The gift? The starting block from which he leapt into the record books. Seven races; seven gold medals, and seven world records. He was the first man in the world ever to win seven gold medals at one Olympic meeting.
Winning so much gold prompted American comedian Bob Hope to describe Spitz as "Fort Knox with fins". Fort Knox is where America's gold reserve is kept. At Saturday's presentation, Spitz was reported to have been impressed with the scheme where very young children are taught to swim, some of them only babies. Perhaps one of them might be the Mark Spitz of the future.