Olympic Swimmers Michael Phelps Versus Mark Spitz, Who Is Greatest?

In 1972, Mark Spitz, at 22 took center stage in the Olympics. There are few sports that allow an athlete the possibility of turning multiple gold medals; swimming is the only event that would allow anyone to set the record Mark did. He won an astonishing 7 Gold Medals. Three of his medals came in relays. All were world records.

His record stood for 36 years, and it took a miraculous Olympics for the US swim team combined with one of the most amazing swimming athletes of all time to break that record.

Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals to pass Spitz for a new record. Michael, as was the case with Spitz, had to turn to teammates in three relay events to win!! One of them was a shocker in the 4x100M Freestyle Relay.

We have many of these shining moments highlighted on our website. And guess what? Every event, every single event was a new world record!! Every one!!! Michael had passed Spitz in total world records in a single Olympics as well.

Here is a table of the results:

It is not fair to compare the times one on one, other than to show how far athletes have come setting world records over the last 36 years. But it is phenomenal the amount of skill, preparation and luck that went into both records. Michael won the 4×100 Meter Freestyle as a team member and that team barely pulled it out against the French Braggart Bernard thanks to a leg by Michael’s hero of the Olympics Jason Lezak. Michael also won the 100 Meter Individual Butterfly by 1/100 of a second, winning by a finger nail!

Who is the best?

We can’t say. Both are great. Let’s see how long Michael holds onto his record!!

Michael Phelps Wins 7th Gold In Closest Olympic Swim In History!! Wins Men’s 100M Butterfly, Ties Spitz Record!

P helps was about to go to seven straight Golds in these Olympics.  He was trying to shake off the nerves.  He was about to swim for Mark Spitz’s record, but Spitz did not have to face Milorad Cavic of Serbia.  In the preliminaries, he passed Michael for the second fastest time in history. Michael and Milorad would race side by side in lanes 4 and 5.  Ian Crocker of the US gets a chance to medal along with Phelps.

Michael looked nervous.  The camera flashed to Phelps mother in the stands and she was trembling and shaking in her seat.  His sisters looked scared, one pursing her lips and the other staring into space.  None were smiling; all were fidgeting.  They knew, this was no cake-walk, and they all knew what was at stake.

Phelps leaped off the stand and into the pool taking the early lead.  The question was, when history was on the line, as so often happens, could Michael choke or have any number of possible slips that lead to a single loss that denies them history?  Or could another swimmer like Cavic rise to the challenge to show Michael was not perfect and take the Gold away?

At the first turn, Cavic had the lead.  Cavic is fast, and he had beaten Phelps in the preliminaries, was Phelps to be denied?  Phelps was behind; Cavic in the lead going to the finish.  No question Cavic had this race, but Michael demonstrated why he is so very superior to the rest of the world.  Not only does he have the natural ability and physical talent, he has a heart that will not let him lose.

Phelps surged in the final 20 meters and gradually gained on Cavic.  But even near the end, it looked like Cavic would win.  On the final stroke, the very final stroke, the absolute last split second, Phelps touched first for the Gold.  Cavic took Silver.

#7 for Phelps.  Cavic was shocked.  Phelps won by 1/100 of a second!!  Michael didn’t look agitated this time around; he looked relieved.  Cavic had come 1/100 of a second from halting Michael’s run, demonstrating that even the best have their nemesis.

It was a final stroke, which you have to see to believe; we will provide that video if you missed it.  Cavic is reaching for the Gold and Michael is still in a final stroke.  Phelps knew it was close and thrust forward in that final stroke to miraculously touch simultaneously with Cavic.  For all intents and purposes, this was a tie.  But 1/100 of a second can make the difference in the Olympics, and that slightest of differences, the closest race in Olympics history took Gold #7 for Phelps!!

Phelps mother collapsed to the floor in disbelief.  God had blessed them.  Phelps looked humbled for the first time in these Olympics, having won with a time of 50.58 to Cavic’s 50.59!!  Oh my.  Mother of God!  Phelps took #7 and we were in tears.

Price of Gold Soars!! Phelps Takes #6, Lochte “Peirses” World Record To Take Gold over Peirsol!!

PRICE Of GOLD SOARS!!! Michael Phelps Takes #6 in Men’s 200 Meter IM

It was time for Phelps to see if he could take medal number 14 and his 6th consecutive Gold in this Olympics. Michael had to face Lochte in this race, but Lochte had just come off a race 25 minutes earlier. No one could possibly hope to race Michael after only 25 minutes rest unless they tied cinder blocks to Phelps feet.

At the end of the Butterfly, Phelps was easily in the lead already. They broke to the backstroke and it was obvious, Lochte was tired. He wasn’t going to pull Gold this time. Phelps was at world record pace…note that I just cut and paste that from every article on Phelps because it is always TRUE!

They moved to the breaststroke, and Phelps started to pull away from his nearest competitors, who both looked to be tiring. His turn into the freestyle had him leading by a full body length, and you don’t catch Michael in the freestyle.

Gold number 6 for Phelps!! World Record #6 for Phelps at 1:54.23. 1 away from tying Spitz’s record. 2 away from taking the record for most Gold Medals in history in a single Olympics held by Spitz for 36 years!

It all sounds like we know it already. It sounds like it is just a given and that it is already old news!! History is being made and this man is so phenomenal that people are in shock. It may take years before they realize what he has accomplished!

Phelps also now has 26 individual world records, tying Mark Spitz on that front.

A tired Lochte still took the Bronze only 25 minutes after winning a Gold over Peirsol. That was impressive.

USA Lochte “Peirses” World Record To Take Gold over Peirsol in Mens 200M Backstroke, 25 Minutes to Phelps?

This was an incredible race with the only two contenders, Ryan Lochte and Aaron Peirsol side by side in an American Dual.

This was to come down to the final 50 meters!! The two were head to head at the final turn and had been the entire race.

Lochte turned it on in the end and took the GOLD with a world record time of 1:53.94. Peirsol, the defending Gold medal champ, settled for Silver. Both are American Heroes and Go 1-2 for the US GOLD and SILVER. Now that is our kind of race!

Lochte, after breaking the world record and taking the Gold gets a 25 minute rest before having to face Phelps!! Would he beat them both?

Michael Phelps Agitated Even As He Beats Spitz’ Record. Takes GOLD in 200M Butterfly!!


Michael Phelps
was about to take away Mark Spitz record as the most decorated Gold medalist in history. Spitz’ record has held for 36 years! And it would take a miracle swimmer like Phelps to do it.

Phelps was ahead at the first turn and in perfect form, but the turn was not crisp and allowed Burmester of New Zealand to take the lead, but that lead didn’t last long. By the end of 100 Meters, Phelps had returned to the front of the pack.

Phelps was chasing the world record at the final turn. And Burmester from New Zealand was somewhat close, but no one could touch Michael as he made Olympic History with a new World Record and the Gold!

Phelps actually appeared disappointed despite making history taking his 10th career Olympic Gold medal. Why? Because Michael wanted to break 1:52, and he did not make it. A World Record was not enough for Phelps!!

Phelps is now only one medal away from tying Spitz for total medals. In less than one hour, Michael would have his chance to do it.

Photo Credit: Itsuo Inouye / Getty Images

What Michael Phelps is About to do… And by Golly He did!!

Here are all of Mark Spitz’s medals from the 1968 and 1972 Olympics:

* 1968 — 4×100 m freestyle relay Gold

* 1968 — 4×200 m freestyle relay Gold

* 1968 — 100 m butterfly Silver

* 1968 — 100 m freestyle Bronze

* 1972 — 100 m butterfly Gold

* 1972 — 100 m freestyle Gold

* 1972 — 200 m butterfly Gold

* 1972 — 200 m freestyle Gold

* 1972 — 4×100 m freestyle relay Gold

* 1972 — 4×100 m medley relay Gold

* 1972 — 4×200 m freestyle relay Gold

Michael Phelps current standing in Beijing 20008 Olympics:

So far: Eight finals, Eight gold medals, Seven world records, One Olympic Record.

His Events:

200m free- won Gold, Aug. 12

100m fly- won Gold, Aug.15

200m fly- won Gold, Aug. 12

200m IM- won Gold Aug. 15

400m IM- won Gold, Aug. 10

4x100m free relay- won Gold, Aug.11 with Cullen Jones, Jason Lezak, and Garrett Weber-Gale

4x200m free relay – won Gold, Aug. 12 with Peter VanderKaay

4x100m medley relay- won Gold with Aaron Peirsol, Jason Lezak, and Brendan Hansen

Buy the latest issue of Sports illustrated, Michael Phelps on the cover! August 25, 2008 issue!

CONGRATULATIONS TO THE GREATEST SWIMMER IN THE WORLD!! Thank you for making history!!

US Dominates Swimming: Peirsol, Coughlin, Phelps Make Olympic History

Swimming was big last night

Oh Say Can You See, Olympic History, US Takes 1 and 3!! Coughlin Takes GOLD in Women’s 100M Backstroke

The 100 Meter Backstroke saw Natalie Coughlin and Kirsty Coventry likely to be in a tight race. Coughlin broke out beautifully and took a strong lead early.

Coughlin was off strong, and well ahead of Coventry, but was drawing near the lane line and needed to center herself. Coughlin turned strong holding the lead and still looked to be well in front by about 2/3 of a body length, but we have seen how in prior races that can dissipate quickly.

Halfway through the final lap you could clearly see Coughlin drifting. And the rest of the pack started to catch up. Coventry was making her push for Gold and Coughlin was just inches ahead.

At the touch, Coughlin TAKES THE GOLD!!! Coventry of Zimbabwe took the Silver and Coughlin’s US teammate Margaret Holzer took the Bronze!!!

Two more US Medals. “Oh Say Can You SEEEEEE!!!!” Olympic HISTORY! Coughlin is the first ever to defend the title successfully in the Women’s 100 Meter Backstroke in Olympic History!

Phelps Makes Olympic Medal History, Wins Men’s 200M Freestyle for GOLD!

Phelps broke out to the lead early with a strong leap into the pool and reached the turn first, but was under his record pace.

Phelps had a body length lead on the second turn, and was looking stronger as he progressed. Phelps passed World Record Pace just before the last turn, and following the turn was a full second under with 40 meters left. Not one racer in the pool was close.

Phelps was going for a World Record all the way and touched at 1:42.96 almost a full second ahead of the World Record. Peter VanderKaay of the US touched third for the Bronze.

Phelps now has 9 golds and 11 total medals in the Olympics. One more, and he will be the new record holder of total medals.

In 1972, Mark Spitz took 7 Golds. He has held that record now for 36 years. Phelps could break that record as well and has 3 Golds so far in this Olympics thanks to the heroic win of the US Relay Team in the Freestyle 4×100 Meter race.

Soni!!! No Bologna!!! USA’s Rebecca Soni takes Silver in Women’s 100M Backstroke

This was clearly Leisel Jones race. Jones from Australia left little doubt throughout the race who was going to touch first.

But Rebecca Soni put in a spectacular performance to take the Silver. Soni is stronger in the longer distance. Could we be looking at a Soni GOLD???

Peirsol “Peirces” WORLD RECORD TO TAKE GOLD. US 1-2 in Men’s 100 Meter Backstroke

Peirsol got off to a weak start leaving Tancock ahead at the first turn, but Peirsol executed a great turn, and started to pour it on. Peirsol hasn’t lost this race in 7 years!! It wasn’t going to start today.

Peirsol surged to a WORLD RECORD at 53.54. Matt Grevers had an awesome swim and received the Silver!!!

One has to wonder, what could Peirsol have done if his start had been just a tad more crisp?

This American Team is amazing! Two more medals for the US. Keep ‘EM COMIN’!!

PHOTO CREDITS: NBC and Getty Images