Snapped: Mark Spitz on His Remarkable Seven-In-Seven at Munich 1972


“I look kind of mean and aggressive looking,” Spitz said of the mesmerising photograph above. “Not mean in a personality way, but powerful.”

For the modern viewer, the lack of goggles, let alone a swimming cap, is one of the most immediately striking aspects of the image; that and the fact that it looks like the nine-time Olympic champion (he also won two golds at the Mexico City 1968 Games) swam with his eyes closed.

“My eyes were always open, I think it’s an illusion,” he protested with a laugh. As for no goggles, it equalled no problem. “We swam without goggles and we did just fine,” he said with an air of finality. “Since that time I have swum with goggles and I find that my head position is strange, a little different.”


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Production engineer and certified swim coach. Full-time IT consultant, spare-time swimming aficionado. 2 sons, 2 daughters and a wife. President of the Faroe Islands Swimming Association. Likes to run :-)

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