On this day in 1972, Mark Spitz became the first man to win seven Olympic Gold medals at a single Olympic Games. Spitz, now a Laureus Academy Member, looks back on the achievement to tell us about what that meant to him.
"My accomplishments have been documented as anything from remarkable to maybe just luck.
“But I think about my performance in 1972 and it was really the journey that got me there that to me was the most important thing. I had competed for about 14 or 15 years and swam 26,000 miles training.
“I was the world record holder before I went in to the Olympic Games and I felt with a fair amount of confidence that I would have success if I could just stay healthy and I’m thankful that I did and I’m thankful that I was able to win those events.
“In the process the competition drove me to swim very fast times and they were all world records. But I think more people will remember the fact that I won seven gold medals than the world records.”