Photos: Your Favorite Summer Olympian | Summer Olympics | Smithsonian
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(Cheryl Carlin)

Photos: Your Favorite Summer Olympian

Recall the athletes who capture our imaginations every four years and let us know who is your favorite

Mark Spitz, Swimming

Mark Spitz, Swimming
(© Bettmann/CORBIS)
Mark Spitz, or “Mark the Shark,” as he came to be known, broke all records when he won an astonishing seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, and he pulled it off while donning a fashion-forward, thick mustache. Add this feat (which went unbeaten for 36 years) to his 33 prior world records in swimming, all attained in a seven-year span from 1965 to 1972. After retiring from swimming at 22, Spitz appeared in a number of commercials, narrated a critically acclaimed Hungarian documentary produced by Quentin Tarantino and currently lends his talents as a motivational speaker. --AV

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