Spitz set new world records in all seven events in which he competed in 1972.
Between 19, Spitz won nine Olympic golds, a silver, and a bronze; five Pan American golds; 31 Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) titles; and eight National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) titles.
A poster featuring Spitz wearing his swimsuit and seven gold medals made him the hottest pin-up since Betty Grable.
In Spitz's TV debut, he appeared as himself in a skit as a dentist on a Bob Hope special that aired October 5, 1972.
Following the Munich Olympics, Spitz retired from competition even though he was still only 22 years old. 33 on ESPN Sports Century 50 Greatest Athletes, the only aquatic athlete to make the list.
At age 41, Spitz attempted a comeback for the 1992 Summer Olympics after filmmaker Bud Greenspan offered him a million dollars if he succeeded in qualifying.
He did even better, winning seven Olympic gold medals.At age six, his family returned to Sacramento, California, and he began to compete at his local swim club.At age nine, he was training at Arden Hills Swim Club in Sacramento with swimming coach Sherm Chavoor, who mentored seven Olympic medal winners including Spitz.Dara Torres made her successful Olympic comeback for the 2008 Summer Games, at the same age as Spitz.After Spitz retired from competitive swimming at age 22, he was managed by the William Morris Agency, which tried to get him into show business while his name was still familiar due to his athletic success.During those years, he set 35 world records, but two were in trials and unofficial.