Sports Icon Mark Spitz Shares His Wisdom On The Mind Of An Olympic Champion

Gold Medal Minute presented by SwimOutlet.comMark Spitz, the greatest Olympian of all-time from 1972 to 2008, has been gracious with his time on the SwimSwam Podcast.  Ahead of the 2021 Olympic Games in Tokyo he has shared many stories, his wisdom, and his humor.  Our younger Olympic fans probably know his name and understand he’s important, but they may not know the context of his career and how central he has been to swimming’s success over the last five decades. While swimming has produced many, many star Olympians, Mark was the first true Olympic icon, globally famous, and he drove our swimming registration. I was a child of the 1970s, and when I started swimming, I dreamed of Olympic success because of his story and his immense achievement, winning seven gold medals (breaking seven world records) at the 1972 Olympic Games.

If you missed the first Spitz Episode of the GMM takeover of the SwimSwam Podcast, see it here.

In this episode Mark unpacks:

  • the 1968 Olympic Games, when he was a kid with immense pressure to win six Olympic gold medals
  • the 1972 Olympic Games, and more insightful stories
  • the mind of an Olympic champion
  • and he describes his experience at the ’72 Olympics when the terrorist group Black September took nine members of the Israel Olympic team hostage.  Press pause and see more on that history, known as the Munich Massacre.

This podcast isn’t all intensity and drama. True to form, Mark is funny and entertaining, and he starts with an usual story behind his famous 1972 Olympic swimsuit, the one suit in which he won all seven 1972 gold medals.

Before there was Michael Phelps, there was Mark Spitz. Between now and the U.S. Olympic Trials, I’ll rollout these episodes. I absolutely love Mark. Some of my best swimming memories come from him, outside of the pool, just talking. I hope you enjoy it…

Follow Mark Spitz on Instagram here

See Mark’s version of the “Ledecky Challenge” on his Instagram where he does it doing butterfly:

Follow Gold Medal Mel on Instagram here


This is a Gold Medal Media production presented by Host Gold Medal Mel Stewart is a 3-time Olympic medalist and the co-founder of, a Swimming News website.

Opinions, beliefs and viewpoints of the interviewed guests do not necessarily reflect the opinions, beliefs, and viewpoints of the hosts, SwimSwam Partners, LLC and/or SwimSwam advertising partners.

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Keith Hoffman
1 year ago

Great interview! Scott Spann was my “bee sting”! Thank you Dr. Scott.

Rick Balfour
1 year ago

Amazing & skilled interview sensitive to the historical events at the time. Kudos to Mel & Mark!

1 year ago

Mark is the BEST – intelligent, humorous, humble (finally) and personable. GREAT INTERVIEW MEL.

1 year ago

Q: Mark was the first true Olympic icon, globally famous…Johnny Weissmuller? Just nit-picking!

Sam B
Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

Alfréd Hajós in 1896 was a real badass and hipster.

Reply to  Sam B
1 year ago

Ha! Up vote

Reply to  Torchbearer
1 year ago

…was waiting for this comment. I grew up watching his b/w Tarzan movies.

cynthia curran
1 year ago

Those were fun. I wondered as a kid why Tarzan was such a good swimmer. I found out about Weissmuller being in the Olympics later on.

Sam B
1 year ago

goosebumps for the last 25 minutes. Mark is a great story teller. I want dinner with Mark for my next birthday!

Reply to  Sam B
1 year ago

Glad you like it… glad Mark was willing to unpack that narrative.

1 year ago

GMM…..great interview …loved it

Steve Wierhake
1 year ago

Very good interview.

Tim Musch
1 year ago

Fantastic outstanding interviews! I grew up with Mark in northern California as an age grouper through seniors. His stories about himself, his coaches, and his experiences in swimming are truly refreshing to hear and an inspiration to all!!

About Gold Medal Mel Stewart

Gold Medal Mel Stewart

MEL STEWART Jr., aka Gold Medal Mel, won three Olympic medals at the 1992 Olympic Games. Mel's best event was the 200 butterfly. He is a former World, American, and NCAA Record holder in the 200 butterfly. As a writer/producer and sports columnist, Mel has contributed to Yahoo Sports, Universal Sports, …

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