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Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 10:39AM
[sports.yahoo.com]

Spitz said the International Olympic Committee, a US television network or FINA—the international body that governs world swimming—should have brought him to the Games this year, with Phelps making a go at his record.

"I never got invited. You don't go to the Olympics just to say, I am going to go. Especially because of who I am," Spitz told AFP in Hong Kong.

"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."

Spitz became one of the most famous athletes in the world at the 1972 Munich Olympics, winning seven gold medals—with seven world records—in what many consider to be one of the greatest achievements in all of sport.

Phelps is aiming to better that mark in Beijing, hoping to bring home eight golds. And Spitz, now 58 and grey and without his trademark moustache, cannot understand why he wasn't asked along to see the show.

"They voted me one of the top five Olympians in all time. Some of them are dead. But they invited the other ones to go to the Olympics, but not me," he said. "Yes, I am a bit upset about it."
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 12, 2008 10:41AM
I agree. That was a huge oversight on the part of the IOC.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: August 12, 2008 10:42AM
Yeesh!

Seems like his parting words should have been "I used to be conceited. But now I'm perfect."



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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 10:44AM
He was perfect -- 7 gold medals, 7 world records, in an Olympics filled with terror and murder.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2008 10:45AM by Jimmypoo.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 12, 2008 10:45AM
Quote
bazookaman
Yeesh!

Seems like his parting words should have been "I used to be conceited. But now I'm perfect."

Most Super Athletes are not the quiet shy type. He may have a big ego, but they really should have invited him.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: threeprong
Date: August 12, 2008 10:48AM
I'd be pissed too. Imagine someone making a go at their 8th Tour de France and noone asking Lance Armstrong to be a part of the coverage.

3P
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 12, 2008 10:48AM
If he had been from any country than the US, or if Phelps had not been an American, the IOC would have PAID him to come.

I still remember him, and I was only 6 when those Olympics were held. That was an amazing accomplishment.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: DavidS
Date: August 12, 2008 10:51AM
I read this yesterday and couldn't believe such an oversight. NBC keeps talking about Spitz's records but then show Ian Thorpe watching in the crowd. I haven't heard any mention anything about Spitz being there or why he is not.

Someone at the USOC should get him a plane ticket ASAP and let him present Phelps with a gold medal at one of the medal ceremonies. Of course, now that Spitz has made this public, how would the USOC/IOC save face while doing that.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: mattkime
Date: August 12, 2008 10:55AM
The IOC made a mistake? Whaaaat?



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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: billb
Date: August 12, 2008 11:03AM
It must suck living in a world with fallible humans.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: $tevie
Date: August 12, 2008 11:04AM
It seems to me that a motivational speaker ought to know how to get on a phone and make things right, instead of sitting around whining. Did he make any efforts to contact anybody and tell them how he feels? Or perhaps to make a proposal of some sorts: invite me to the Olympics, let me hand Phelps a medal, yadayada here's why it would be good publicity for the Olympics. Anything but this whining. Maybe they didn't invite him because he's a PITA.



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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 11:08AM
That's a big maybe.



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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: MacArtist
Date: August 12, 2008 11:18AM
I think it's about respect.

When a professional sports record is close to being broken; they invite the current record holder to the game.

Why not the Olympics?

I've got no problem with Spitz's attitude towards this. He sacrificed years of his life. He achieved something that no one else has been able to reach for over 30 years.

We can't say for sure how we would deal with the same situation.



I sit on a man’s back, choking him and making
him carry me, and yet assure myself and others
that I am very sorry for him and wish to ease his
lot by all possible means — except by getting off
his back. - Leo Tolstoy, novelist and Philosopher
(1828-1910)

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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: billb
Date: August 12, 2008 11:33AM
"I never got invited. You don't go to the Olympics just to say, I am going to go. Especially because of who I am"


That could indicate many things.
I'll wait to hear more.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: pRICE cUBE
Date: August 12, 2008 11:47AM
The day the IOC does the right thing will be the first. They are too busy lining their pockets. Don't be mistaken, the whole bribery process is still going on. It is just better masked.



Ways to improve web conference image and sound quality. [forums.macresource.com]


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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 12, 2008 12:04PM
At the least, they could have computer generated him in.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: vision63
Date: August 12, 2008 12:06PM
I'm open to be bribed if anyone needs to shed money.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Go To Top
Date: August 12, 2008 12:07PM
Lifestyle?????????????????



A man who is of "sound mind" is one who keeps the inner madman under lock and key.
(Paul Valery)
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: MacManMaz
Date: August 12, 2008 12:08PM
Wa Wa Wa.. I expect better from someone with his fame. His sense of entitlement sickens me.

In my book, he should have gladly paid his own way and been gracious about it. But he apparently is far from gracious and that is probably why no one cared to have him there.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 12, 2008 12:10PM
Maybe some of the IOC people have had dealings with him before. Just a guess.
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Sure, he has a right to his feeling.
Posted by: RAMd®d
Date: August 12, 2008 12:18PM
I have no idea why he wasn't invited, but giving "super athletes" a pass on decorum is ridiculous.

It may well be a known tradition and it may well be that he was slighted, but he's behaving like a ten-year old. He'd fit in here with some of the folks.

Others here would have been gracious, assuming they felt slighted.

He gets a U in Citizenship.






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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: will2000
Date: August 12, 2008 12:37PM
Mark Spitz has a long history of complaining. However, he is right about this issue, but should have used other means to accomplish his goal.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: decocritter
Date: August 12, 2008 12:51PM
You would think they would want him there, and it would be a good press story. One of the Networks could have sent him, also. He could have been a guest commentator.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: August 12, 2008 12:53PM
ABC tried to use Spitz years ago as a commentator for swimming and all he ever talked about was his greatness. I think he's a diva but then again aren't they all? They're trained up that way.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: decocritter
Date: August 12, 2008 12:57PM
I saw he and Bruce Jenner on some show recently. They were both pretty interesting.

Jenner looks funny.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: pinkoos
Date: August 12, 2008 01:28PM
The biography from his website [www.markspitzusa.com]. I wonder who wrote it.

"Considered the Greatest Olympic athlete of all-time. Mark Spitz is synonymous with excellence. He is world renown and one of the most recognized faces in the World. In 2000, Mark was voted Athlete of the Century in water sports and one of the six greatest Olympians ever by Sports Illustrated. Recently, the International Olympic Committee selected Mark as one of its five athletes of the Century.
Mark is a highly requested public speaker throughout the World. He has also executed endorsements for Xerox, Kodak, Bausch & Lomb, John Hancock Financial Services, General Motors, General Mills, Swatch and many others. Mark will continue to be a very hot commodity as long as there is an Olympic Games somewhere in the world or the desire by a group to hear from one of the greatest living legends of all-time in sports."



My music blog: [www.auditorymusings.net]


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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 12, 2008 02:04PM
Hi everyone,

I'm with MacManz... Seems to me that slighted or not, if it was that important to Mark Spitz to be at the Olympics for any reason, he would've arranged to be there one way or the other. And, I've no doubt if he showed up on his own accord even without invitation, he would not remain anonymous. He or someone else would make his presence known very quickly.

Robert
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 03:10PM
His take is that given his participation, especially in making Olympic swimming what it is,
is that he needn't do that.

And certainly not for medal presentations. He made it pretty clear.... "sit anonymously
in the stands?" I don't think so either.

He's in Hong Kong. Obviously he's capable of going on his own! And I'm sure he's not
short $500 for a ticket. Former athletes of his level should be auto-VIPs.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Robert M
Date: August 12, 2008 03:16PM
Jimmy,

No doubt he is a VIP. The question is who should foot the bill of his VIPness. Clearly, Nobody wanted to foot the bill for him. So, right or wrong, the responsibility for Spitz's VIPness is his hands now.

Robert
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 03:18PM
If he had an invite, I'm sure he could have footed his own bill or worn a TShirt that would cover the tab.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 12, 2008 03:26PM
Quote
Jimmypoo
If he had an invite, I'm sure he could have footed his own bill or worn a TShirt that would cover the tab.

I agree. I don't think this is about who will pay, but rather his not getting invited. I'm sure a sponsor could have been found if the invitation had be issued. There are probably some on the IOC that have something against him for some reason and that is the real reason for the snub.

Whether he is a nice person or not really isn't the issue, his stature as the all time medal winner in a single Olympics is. He should have been officially invited and not just expected to show up on his own like just another face in the crowd. He has earned more respect than that by his talent not his personality or lack thereof.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: michaelb
Date: August 12, 2008 04:25PM
I am glad he is not there, and I disagree that the IOC should have flown him in. I can't stand the overblown hype of certain athletes based on American values. I like watching the events live for what they are right now. Is this even a tradition anywhere else? How long have we been doing this in the US anyway? What does it add to this games, and how does it relate to these athletes, including all of the other members of every other countries swim team that is competing right now.

If the news media wants to chase down Mark Spitz after Phelps breaks his record, if he does, then that is their perrogative. But I don't see how this is necessarily part of the Olympic tradition, or how it really has world wide implications (should the IOC be flying in and VIPing the greatest Soviet wrestler or Hungarian weight lifter or Chinese ping pong player if something similar was going on in those events???).
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: deckeda
Date: August 12, 2008 04:34PM
I'd have gone, paid my way, and said "Hi" to as many normal people that I ran into at the Games. Somewhere around the half-way mark NBC would learn of it and seek him out.

THEN, after the camera finds him in a crowd, or maybe for a quick interview, he'd have a very gracious opportunity to say on TV that "oh, actually I wasn't invited by anyone, I just wanted to see this great thing in person."

Drop that subtle F-U without warning (and with his trademark smile) and dare NBC to edit it out for their friggin' tape-delay swimming broadcast.

And then let the IOC fumble publicly with why he wasn't invited. Or make them deny it.

Lot of bad players here, but I'm with those who say Spitz' behavior was not admirable. Part of being great is taking the high road when you get crapped upon.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 04:39PM
I don't think any of this is necessarily revolving around $$$ to get him there.

He noted that the IOC invited others. It was the IOC who bestowed upon him the honors
for his efforts. Even the US Olympic Team could have done something, such as inviting
along the man who is a member of their history, holds the record for most medals in
history, and it would be a great thing, like having Babe Ruth's wife on hand, when
his record was broken.

You show me the 9 time medalist in ping pong, that along with only less than 10 other
participants in HISTORY, have achieved this honor, be they Bulgarian or Hungarian,
then YES, if they have been named one of the FIVE greatest olympians in a CENTURY,
among of THOUSANDS upon THOUSANDS of participants -- then..... to answer your Q,
within the limits in which you posed it... the answer is indeed YES.

(should the IOC be flying in and VIPing the greatest Soviet wrestler or Hungarian weight lifter or Chinese ping pong player if something similar was going on in those events???).
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 04:43PM
Regarding the "lifestyle" comment - I saw this on Yahoo today and I think it fits:

Yes, let's focus on something like supposed sexual orientation instead of the unbelievable athletic accomplishments that these men have made, and their lasting contributions to swimming. Because that other stuff is obviously so much more important.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: decocritter
Date: August 12, 2008 05:20PM
I think the real issue is the "Invite"..,,Bad form on the part of the IOC
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: billb
Date: August 12, 2008 05:37PM
Wouldn't the USOC have something to say about the planning of such an invite ?

Could this be Spitz's way of exposing sour grapes if there are any with the USOC or even the current swim team ?
Until the IOC makes some sort of statement everything just seems to be speculation.

Spitz isn't stupid. Like Deckeda said : He didn't need an invite to go.
Wouldn't surprise me at alll to find out in several days he had terms.
There's more to this.
Could be just an oversight.
I kinda doubt it.
I highly doubt it.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: August 12, 2008 05:37PM
Somehow I can't see Michael Phelps acting like a bitchy little girl if he doesn't get invited to the Olympics 20 years from now.



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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: davester
Date: August 12, 2008 06:31PM
It doesn't matter if Spitz is the most obnoxious prima donna on earth. The IOC are utter morons not to have invited him and given him a place of honor during the competition and medal ceremony. An incredibly insulting slight. For once I agree with jimmypoo, which is a wonder in itself.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2008 06:32PM by davester.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Blankity Blank
Date: August 12, 2008 06:49PM
Quote
davester
It doesn't matter if Spitz is the most obnoxious prima donna on earth.
Actually, it does matter. Based on his behavior now, I can easily see a situation where the IOC might fear that he would in fact behave like a prima dona and draw attention away from Michael Phelps and his accomplishments.

This is Phelps' moment in the sun, if this pompous grandstanding is what can be expected from Spitz, I'm glad he's not there. I really didn't care all that much about Phelps breaking the record before, but now I'll be right there cheering him on. I'm hoping he'll be a classier representative of his sport than Spitz.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 12, 2008 09:03PM
Quote
davester
For once I agree with jimmypoo, which is a wonder in itself.

I never knew we DISagreed on anything!
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: davester
Date: August 12, 2008 09:08PM
Quote
Jimmypoo
Quote
davester
For once I agree with jimmypoo, which is a wonder in itself.

I never knew we DISagreed on anything!

T'isn't!



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2008 09:08PM by davester.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: ka jowct
Date: August 12, 2008 09:20PM
He is world renown and one of the most recognized faces in the World.

Did you cut and paste that? Does it actually say "He is world renown"?



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/12/2008 09:22PM by ka jowct.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Gutenberg
Date: August 12, 2008 09:53PM
I don't think Mark Spitz called the media and spouted all this commentary. I think a reporter called him and asked him why he's not in Beijing, what with all this going on, and Spitz told him. I think that order of events takes his comments out of the realm of pomposity. I think he is hurt and frustrated.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: rgG
Date: August 12, 2008 10:03PM
Quote
Gutenberg
I don't think Mark Spitz called the media and spouted all this commentary. I think a reporter called him and asked him why he's not in Beijing, what with all this going on, and Spitz told him. I think that order of events takes his comments out of the realm of pomposity. I think he is hurt and frustrated.

What she said.





Roswell, GA (Atlanta suburb)
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Dennis S
Date: August 12, 2008 11:32PM
"It doesn't matter if Spitz is the most obnoxious prima donna on earth. The IOC are utter morons not to have invited him and given him a place of honor during the competition and medal ceremony."

My guess is the IOC know him pretty well already and wanted no part of it.
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: August 13, 2008 08:14AM
Yes... I cut/paste that, assuming "renown" was at the top. Whatever is there is direct from Yahoo link.

>>>My guess is the IOC know him pretty well already and wanted no part of it.

That makes no sense. Why would they have bestowed upon him the titles they have, and
done so in just the past few years??
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: August 13, 2008 11:13AM
Spitz just wants to get close enough to use the lead pipe before Phelps gets gold medal #8...
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Re: Mark Spitz is right to be pissed.
Posted by: Joey Cupcakes
Date: August 13, 2008 12:26PM
Quote
rgG
Quote
bazookaman
Yeesh!

Seems like his parting words should have been "I used to be conceited. But now I'm perfect."

Most Super Athletes are not the quiet shy type. He may have a big ego, but they really should have invited him.

Spitz certainly earned his right to a big ego and should have been invited.
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