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gull
July 28th, 2004, 03:16 PM
In this week's People magazine (not my copy, of course) Mark Spitz is quoted as saying: "Eighty percent of Masters do compete. I'm in the 20 percent who don't. Been there. Done that."

jim clemmons
July 28th, 2004, 03:56 PM
I think 80% is way, way high side of the actual number. More like 30-40% (maybe).

Howard
July 28th, 2004, 04:02 PM
Guys like Mark Spitz also have the most to lose. Everyone would be gunning for him and think of what a big deal people would make of him losing a race. I don't blame him for not wanting to compete.

80% is way high.

Tom Ellison
July 28th, 2004, 04:12 PM
It is in the same vein as United States Marines who have been awarded the United States Medal of Honor….after that…they NEVER have to stand inspections again…EVER. Gosh, after winning seven (7) Gold Medals in the same Olympic Games…what else could Spitz possible have to prove or achieve in swimming? He hasn’t just BEEN to the mountain…..Spitz owns the mountain!

knelson
July 28th, 2004, 04:49 PM
I agree Spitz has nothing left to prove, but it's hard for me to imagine he doesn't crave the competition anymore. Heck, I never win jack, but I still have the urge to compete :)

Howard
July 28th, 2004, 05:01 PM
Maybe that's the difference. He's already won everything there is and more.

He'd have a bullseye painted right on his back and every 40+ man in the country would come after him just to say they beat Mark Spitz.

I know several former world ranked swimmers that have no desire to swim masters. They've been in the majors and don't want to compete in the minors. They get their social activities in other places so in their minds Masters swimming has nothing to offer and for them maybe it doesn't. Can't be everything to everyone.

Guvnah
July 28th, 2004, 05:52 PM
Originally posted by knelson
I agree Spitz has nothing left to prove, but it's hard for me to imagine he doesn't crave the competition anymore. Heck, I never win jack, but I still have the urge to compete :)

Didn't he try to make a comeback a few Olympics ago? Did a pretty good showing of himself, if I recall, but not quite good enough to make the team.

I also can't blame him for eschewing competition. Some friends from college who were on the basketball team (and one even made the pros for 2 years) said they never play in pick-up games at the gym because the run-of-the-mill yahoo players want to "prove something" and tend to play rougher and more out of control, and that's a recipe for getting injured. And I'm not trying to say that Spitz would get injured in the pool, but the principle is the same anyway.

Guvnah
July 28th, 2004, 05:55 PM
I also think that a guy like Spitz wouldn't get a moment of peace at a meet. Everyone would be hovering and seeking autographs and all... Asking for advice. Buddying up. He never seemed like the "crowd-craving" type to me.

breastroker
July 29th, 2004, 12:13 AM
Spitz has been to dozens of SPMA masters swim meets, usually at UCLA. He is very nice in that environment, I don't recall people pestering him.

Tom,
Even as an officer, don't you have to salute the Medal of Honor winner? My one regret was just missing a talk with Joe Foss. Every Marine knows of him.

Tom Ellison
July 29th, 2004, 09:47 AM
Regardless of rank….even the Commandant of the Marine Corps salutes Medal of Honor recipients. Interesting side note to the Medal of Honor….Their children have the right to attend the US Military Academy’s and they do not need a congressional appointment.

iswim41
July 31st, 2004, 10:38 PM
After competing through high school and college, I don't have the desire to compete anymore and I'm sure there are many more out there like me. I do, still love to swim. It keeps me in shape and keeps me balanced in a crazy world. The only person Spitz has to answer to is himself.

mattson
August 1st, 2004, 08:00 AM
At the head of the Sunday heat sheets from SCN:

Mark Spitz is so good my grandmother could coach him, and she died 10 years ago.

gull
August 1st, 2004, 09:45 AM
Actually I thought 80 percent of Masters don't compete. The obvious question is why the remaining 20 percent do. I do it to challenge myself (and at the same time fight the aging process) and as a way to stay motivated to work out consistently. It's too easy to talk yourself out of exercising.

iswim41
August 1st, 2004, 10:20 AM
My best motivation is how I feel when I'm done with a workout. I'm relaxed, feeling like I accomplished something and better equipped to face the rest of the day. I usually swim in the morning when I'm barely conscience. Other than his talent and ability, Spitz is just like the rest of us, busy living his life. I think it's great that he makes the appearances he does.

coach guy
August 2nd, 2004, 05:31 PM
I swam through high school and college and was an All American throughout college. Now when I compete it is in open water events and off events in a swim meet forum. I was a sprinter and if I don't PR in those events I donn't see the point in that. Training for other events however gives me a new challenges and I don't get hung up on times as much.