In 1968, Mark Spitz participated in his first Olympic Games in Mexico City. Together with his teammates, Spitz won two titles: the 4 x 100 m freestyle and the 4 x 200 m freestyle relays. In addition, Spitz finished second in the 100 m butterfly and third in the 100 m freestyle. In spite of the successes, Spitz was disappointed, as he had announced a bid for five gold medals, after he had accomplished that feat at the 1967 Pan American Games.
Four years later, in Munich, Spitz got his revenge. In West Germany, he won seven Olympic gold medals, a feat yet unequalled by any other Olympic athlete. Even more remarkably, Spitz set a new world record in each of the seven events (the 100 m freestyle, 200 m freestyle, 100 m butterfly, 200 m butterfly, 4 x 100 m freestyle, 4 x 100 m freestyle and the 4 x 100 m medley).
Still only aged 22, Spitz retired from swimming after the Munich Games. However, at age 41, Spitz attempted to make a comeback in an attempt to qualify for the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, after film maker Bud Greenspan had offered him a million dollars if he would succeed in qualifying. Filmed by Greenspan's cameras, Spitz failed to beat the qualifying limit.