Monday, 16 February 2015
92 Olympics 1972
First watched : 1972 ( funnily enough )
To this day I don't care very much about the Olympic Games as they bring to the fore what for me are seriously dull sports so the blanket TV coverage is never something I welcome. I don't think I watched much of it in 72 as I don't recall the massacre or watching Olga Korbut doing her thing. However I do remember the brouhaha about Mark Spitz winning all those medals so I must have seen some of it.
Whether Spitz, an American Jew, was fired up by the massacre to overachieve you can't say but his decision to retire from competition immediately afterwards at the age of 22 was almost certainly influenced by those events. In the immediate aftermath he was a superstar, he and his moustache appearing in many magazines and advertisements. After a brief and unconvincing attempt at acting he became a sports pundit but from the mid-eighties retreated into private life where he has a successful real estate company and other business ventures. In 1992 he attempted to qualify for the 1992 games as part of a documentary project but didn't make the qualifying time; in a measure of how much the sport had progressed the bar was set higher than some of his medal-winning times ! I didn't like Michael Phelps so I was sorry he managed to beat Mark's record though Mark himself was phlegmatic about it.