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Hi everybody,

Let's talk about the best swimmer in the world before Michael Phelps: MARK SPITZ.

Mark won 7 Olympic Gold medals at the 1972 Games (Munich, Germany), breaking the World record in every single one: 100 and 200 Free, 100 and 200 Fly, 400 and 800 Free Relay, and 400 Free Relay.

As a reminder, the 50 Free was not an event at that time. If it was, he would probably have won it, adding the 8th medal to his collection.

One Olympic Games earlier (1968, Mexico City, Mexico), Mark Spitz was already one of the greatest swimmers of the world, and people thought that he would have a chance to win 7 Gold medals at that games, but his performance was not as good as he expected, and he won "ONLY" two gold, one silver, and a bronze medal, which made him "hungrier" for the following games.

Throughout his career, Mark Spitz broke 35 World records!!!!! He swam for Santa Clara Swim Team (California), and Indiana University.

As you can see, he swam without a cap, and with a mustache!!! Also, the swimsuit they used at that time was made of nylon, and not so small...not too hydrodynamic, actually very heavy.

As for the mustache, the American coaches started to spread gossip that the mustache was good for swimming, because it would help with him to breathe (which they knew was not true, but just wanted to play a trick on other swimmers from other countries). The funny thing is that for a couple of years after that, A LOT of foreign swimmers started to grow a mustache (and that is a true story). Hahahaha

Here is a short video of all his 7 gold medals.

Other things to notice:

STARTS: very "flat", not going under the water at all.

STARTS: some swimmers would even do an arm rotation before diving.

TURNS: no dolphin kick at all.

 

I hope you enjoy the video. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TyXhi5I-TWs

 

Coach Mario

Thanks, coach Maviel Sampaio for sharing!