Olympic Gold - Team Mark or Team Michael?

Jan Singer

I admit it – I’m a fool for the Summer Olympics. And 2016 is shaping up to be golden!

Hooked especially on swimming since the summer of ’72. That’s when I was recruited by my swim coach to babysit for a family of three girls on an island off the coast of Maine.

We swimmers were in high demand because the island had no pool—just open ocean. So the families needed to be sure their babysitters could do more than just sit!

 Mark Sptiz - 1972

Mark Sptiz - 1972

Each night our little babysitter's club gathered in a different cottage to watch some scratchy black and white TV. Some nights, especially out on the cliffs, we had to take turns holding the antenna!

But we were single-minded in our goal—GOLD!

It was both exhilarating and harrowing. Sadly eleven Israeli athletes were murdered within the Olympic Village in Munich. For many of us, it was the first time international terrorism really came to light.

It was also the summer when Marc Spitz broke every record in every event he swam in and had every young woman in the world—swooning.

Never before had a single swimmer had such successa perfect 7 for 7 in world records and gold medals.

Plus he was gorgeous! That body! That mustache!

My fellow swim team girls and I knew no one up close and personal who even had peach fuzz—let alone a full blown 'stache! We knew a good thing when we saw him!

 Mark Spitz today: I kind of miss the mustache!

Mark Spitz today: I kind of miss the mustache!

Of course, now a mere 7 gold medals seem quaint compared to the overwhelming success of Michael Phelps.

But in my heart of hearts, I'm loyal to firsts. First in the record books, first crush on a mustachioed man.  

It will always be Team Mark for me.