Friday, August 15, 2008

Michael Phelps v. Mark Spitz

Tonight, Michael Phelps equaled Mark Spitz's 1972 record for Olympic productivity, winning his seventh medal of these Olympic games.

Of course, it's unfair to compare Spitz's performances to those of today's Olympians. Spitz was forced to swim through water as viscous as an oil slick wearing a 3-piece woolen suit, and today's Olympians swim downhill both ways and have suits made of fish scales.

Still, it bears noting that Spitz's gold medal winning times would barely win the women's events today.

RaceSpitz's TimeCurrent Women's World RecordCurrent Men's World Record
100m freestyle51.22Libby Trickett 52.88Eamon Sullivan 47.05
200m freestyle1:52Federica Pellegrini 1:54.82Michael Phelps 1:42.96
100m butterfly54.27Inge de Bruijn 56.61Ian Crocker 50.40
200m butterfly2:00.70Zige Liu 2:04.18Michael Phelps 1:52.03
4×100m freestyle relay3:26.42Netherlands 3:33.62US 3:08.24
4×200m freestyle relay7:35.78Australia 7:44.31US 6:58.56
4×100m medley relay3:48.16Australia 3:55.74US 3:30.68
See Also:
Modern Women's World Records vs. Historical Men's World Records
Modern Women's World Records vs. Historical Men's World Records — Part II

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