Mark Spitz: “It Is Unfortunate That My Quote Was Misconstrued” Regarding Phelps

Mark Spitz has responded publicly for the first time to an article in Express Sports UK, who reported that Spitz claims that Michael Phelps didn’t actually win the gold medal in the men’s 100 fly at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

2008 Olympic Final, 100 Butterfly: Michael Phelps celebrations winning by .01 (courtesy of USpresswire)

2008 Olympic Final, 100 Butterfly: Michael Phelps celebrations winning by .01 (courtesy of USpresswire)

In the interview, Spitz emphasized that Phelps is the “greatest Olympian of all time,” and sympathized with Phelps’ recent struggles with alcohol, but the headline-catching quote was one about the photo-finish in the 100 fly that left a cloud of uncertainty on the result of what was at the time the best rivalry in swimming.

“I was sent an email posted by Omega that said he had lost the race,” the paper quoted Spitz. “If they were the official time keeper why wasn’t that available moments after the race? I don’t believe he won the race but he’s still the greatest swimmer in the world, with or without that medal.”

Today, in an exclusive comment to SwimSwam, Spitz says that his quote was misconstrued.

“It is unfortunate that my quote was misconstrued regarding Omega, Michael Phelps and his race at the 2008 Olympics,” Spitz said via email. “I thought I was clear that I was forwarded some e mail links and social media posts floating around the internet pertaining to the race with Mike Cavic.  The writer decided to take creative license and say I got this from Omega.  Omega has never sent me any communication in any form regarding this race or any other race.  Again, I re-iterate my comment that Michael Phelps is the greatest Olympic swimmer of all time!”

The 100 fly was one of 8 gold medals won by Phelps at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, breaking Mark Spitz’s single-games record of 7 at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich.

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Mark Spitz, you were the GOAT when I was growing up………33 world records! Respect.


Spitz is a massive hero of mine
Especially concidering his personal background then achieving the unachievable in Germany in an Olympics overshadowd by the massacre of the Israeli athletes.
The guy is GOAT
But his comments about Phelps losing is rubbish


In the LIVE Broadcast was obvious that Cavic won the race and video that was much later seen only proves that Phelps was lost the race, and world record. Phelps is supposed to make a new hero of sports, and he really is and was before that, but this medal he does not deserve. The sport needed a new hero. Sport is got a new hero. But sport needs a true hero and gentleman… pure and sincere in sport and beyond like Mark Spitz And Omega has made his hero … Omega was Phelps’ sponsor … I’ve seen enough goals that they were not, and we all know that the sport has long become a job and money and profit,… Read more »




that makes no sense..


So . . . Spitz does NOT retract his espousal of a conspiracy theory. Instead, he clarifies that the supposed info didn’t come from Omega — it came from ever-reliable “social media posts.”


He also didn’t address his snarky comments alluding to his lousy comparisons of careers. After all… He didn’t swim in as many Olympics … Blah blah blah. Poor sportsmanship at its worst.

About Braden Keith

Braden Keith

Braden Keith is the Editor-in-Chief and a co-founder of He first got his feet wet by building The Swimmers' Circle beginning in January 2010, and now comes to SwimSwam to use that experience and help build a new leader in the sport of swimming. Aside from his life on the InterWet, …

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