The interview later with Mark Spitz and Michael Phelps was really cool. Mark has been waiting 36 years for someone to tie him and he was very gracious about handing over his torch.
Funny...I was 10 years old in 1972 when Mark won his 7 golds in one Olympics, and I remember how super exciting it was for me at the time, watching Mark win night after night. Now, I have a 10 year old daughter and she's super-exited watching Michael win night after night. Mark inspired my love of swimming (I taught myself to swim properly after the '72 Olympics), and my daughter is now asking me if she can cut back on dance and maybe join the local swim team. She's been adverse to swimming competitively up til now, because she loves dance so much, but maybe I'll make a swimmer out of her yet.
I didn't see that. Was he interviewed in China? He was angry over not getting invited to the Olympics this year.
He was interviewed via satellite from America, along with Michael from the Cube...split screen. Mark didn't seem angry...anything but.
I can't find the article now but he wasn't angry at Michael but at the Olympic committee for not inviting him. He said it was a huge insult to not be invited to the event where someone might break his world record when all of these other former athletes had been formally invited and hosted by the committee - I'm paraphrasing here but you get the jist.
I found some stuff about it by Googling. I think he has every right to be upset at not being invited. I saw plenty of former Olympians in various stands, and I assume they were invited special. Spitz was insulted big time.
US swim legend Mark Spitz won't be on hand in Beijing if Michael Phelps breaks his record of seven gold medals at a single Olympics -- because, he says, no one bothered to invite him.
Spitz said the International Olympic Committee, a US television network or FINA -- the international body that governs world swimming --should have brought him to the Games this year, with Phelps making a go at his record. "I never got invited. You don't go to the Olympics just to say, I am going to go. Especially because of who I am," Spitz told AFP in Hong Kong.
"I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously? That's almost demeaning to me. It is not almost -- it is."
Spitz became one of the most famous athletes in the world at the 1972 Munich Olympics, winning seven gold medals -- with seven world records -- in what many consider to be one of the greatest achievements in all of sport.
Phelps is aiming to better that mark in Beijing, hoping to bring home eight golds. And Spitz, now 58 and grey and without his trademark moustache, cannot understand why he wasn't asked along to see the show.
"They voted me one of the top five Olympians in all time. Some of them are dead. But they invited the other ones to go to the Olympics, but not me," he said. "Yes, I am a bit upset about it."
Now a stockbroker and motivational speaker, Spitz also thinks he could have won eight golds himself in Munich if only he had had the chance. "I won seven events. If they had the 50m freestyle back then, which they do now, I probably would have won that too," he said.
Spitz, whose brief stint in show business in the 1970s never quite matched his success in the pool, said he attended the Athens Olympics four years ago -- when Phelps also tried to break the record. "They did not once put my face on television," he recalled. "But as soon as the swimming was over, and Michael Phelps didn't break my record, every time I went to beach volley, they put my face on the volleyballs."
Spitz said it would have been a great idea if he could be the one presenting the gold medals to Phelps, who has for years been candid about his ambition to eclipse the mark of seven golds.
And Spitz thinks Phelps will succeed -- for one very good reason.
"He's almost identical to me. He's a world-record holder in all these events, so he is dominating the events just like I did," Spitz said. "He reminds me of myself."
"If you don't stand for something you will fall for anything."
— Malcolm X
When I first saw this I thought he was cross-dressing.
Congrats to him!!
Rather than love, than money, than fame, give me truth. I sat at a table where were rich food and wine in abundance, and obsequious attendance, but sincerity and truth were not;
and I went away hungry from the inhospitable board.
-Henry David Thoreau