Mark Spitz – Setting The Record Straight

So this morning Mark Spitz was on The Today Show being interviewed by Matt Lauer. I made sure to pay attention to the interview to listen to exact what Mark Spitz said. I then watched it again in the 9 a.m. hour to ensure that I didn’t get it wrong.

I didn’t.

At NO TIME in that interview (which included discussion of the supposed “misunderstanding” over his comments a few days ago), at NO TIME did Mark Spitz say his comments were taken out of context, or misconstrued. What he said was that over the past two weeks he has done hundreds of interviews, and that one “took a different turn.”

Spitz continued:

I’m sort of disappointed that I wasn’t [at the Olympics]. But that interview somehow took a different turn. I’ve done hundreds and hundreds of them and I’ve been true to form about the way I feel about Michael.

Yeah, that interview took a different turn because you let your true self out and suddenly decided to share your TRUE opinion. And sure, you’ve been true to form about the way you speak about Phelps, but you’ve still been less than gracious about the Olympics themselves. Not so? Well, let’s look at the full-length version of one of his quotes that I took umbrage with a couple days ago (italics mine):

You don’t go to the Olympics just to say, ‘I am going to go.’ Especially because of who I am … I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously? That’s almost demeaning to me. It is not almost — it is.

Well, Mark, that certainly puts it all into perspective.

You can read the Lauer/Spitz interview at the Today Show website and come to your own conclusion, but based on the interview I saw this morning (twice), I stand by my opinion of Mark Spitz.

Great athlete, bit of a jerk.

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9 comments

  1. What a bunch of pissy moaners you all are. If ANY of US were Mark Spitz… and not invited… justly we would be pissed off too!

    He does commentary after commentary for NBC… yet they did not comp him a ticket?….

    He is the winningest athlete in history… yet the IOC did not invite him?

    Put it into perspective… it would be like having a gathering of the living presidents, and not inviting Jimmy Carter.

    Mark Spitz is being indeed gracious to not show his rage for being snubbed.

    But I’m sure all you Olympic gold medal winners completely understand……

  2. SB, I’m not being a pissy moaner! I’m stating an opinion. Last time I checked, that was allowed in this country. *lol* Especially on my own blog!

    He said in his interview this morning with Matt Lauer:

    But Spitz clarified his statements with Lauer, saying that he was working for a corporate sponsor who elected not to bring its U.S. contingent over to China.

    “[Some reporters] thought that I was supposed to be invited by some entity, and I told them that wasn’t really the case, that doesn’t happen that way,” Spitz explained.

    If that’s the case – this his own corporate sponsor wouldn’t send anyone over – then why is he complaining that he didn’t get invited? If anything he should be complaining to his corporate sponsor that they didn’t send him given the fact that Phelps would be breaking the record Spitz set.

  3. He was on Inside Edition yesterday, and was very gracious. He said records vwere made to be broken and wished Mark Phelps every success.

  4. “Gee… sorry I could not go… I had to work and could not get it off”…????

    Really dude? You REALLY believe that as truth… or the only attempt to save dignity that he had to hide behind by being so dissed.

    Allow me to say… especially “in your own blog”… that if you believe that as truth, you are a moron.

  5. Uncle Bill – I don’t believe I ever said he was not gracious towards Phelps – I haven’t seen/heard any comments by Spitz that were anti-Phelps. My quibble is with his opinion of HIMSELF and his rude comments about not going to the Olympics.

  6. SB – let me throw this Spitz quote out again:

    You don’t go to the Olympics just to say, ‘I am going to go.’ Especially because of who I am … I am going to sit there and watch Michael Phelps break my record anonymously? That’s almost demeaning to me. It is not almost — it is.

    My response? YES, he could have gone just to say “I am going to go.” Because once there he’d obviously be put on camera, be interviewed, and be asked for soundbytes on the world records being set in Beijing. Which is what he wants, anyway.

    And consider this – given the publicity over his comments, he’s gotten more press in the past three days than he’s gotten since his glory days in the 1970s. Certainly more press than if he had just been sitting in the stands watching Phelps break the record. I’m not saying he planned that, but you have to believe he’s enjoying the way he’s been in the headlines since the story was published.

  7. SB, I’ve edited your comment to remove your rudeness. I let the “moron” thing go because it made me laugh, but I’ll not tolerate what you put in the last comment you made.

    And I’ll say this one more time (before I shut down all commenting on this thread).

    My problem with Spitz has NOT been his attitude towards Phelps. I’ve never seen him say a bad word about Phelps. I agree that he has been gracious in that regard.

    HOWEVER, he has NOT been gracious about his not going to the Olympics, and the supposed reasons behind why he did not go. THAT is the behavior I disagree with and which I posted about.

    You are obviously a Spitz fan, which is fine. But as I said, I have a right to my opinion just as much as you do. And since you seem intend on being rude about it (and thus needing your comment edited), I’m shutting down the comment thread since this has turned from discussion into namecalling.

Comments are closed.