Jewish Jock Helps Phelps Make Olympic History by the Forward

Jewish Jock Helps Phelps Make Olympic History

Poor Mark Spitz. The middle-aged motivational speaker and former swimmer can no longer be “considered the Greatest Olympic athlete of all-time,” now that Michael Phelps has won eight gold medals in one Olympics this morning, surpassing Spitz’s seven in 1972.

Spitz can actually thank a fellow Jew for this development. Jason Lezak, who won bronze in the 100-meter freestyle but, more importantly, swam the anchor leg in the 4x100 freestyle relay that helped push the U.S. team — including Phelps — to gold on Monday, pulled a golden repeat today.

Following U.S. teammates Aaron Peirsol, Brendan Hansen and Phelps, Lezak dove into lane four to swim the anchor leg, or final position, of the Men’s 4 x 100 meter medley relay, and touched the finish .7 seconds ahead of the second-place Australians, to give his team a record time of 3:29.34.

“I was thinking, ‘Don’t blow the lead,’” Lezak said. “I was really nervous going in because anything can happen in a one race … I knew Eamon [Sullivan of Australia] was definitely capable of catching me. I wanted to take it out hard and finish as strong as I could.”

The race gave Phelps his record-breaking eighth gold medal for the 2008 games.

Jewish Jock Helps Phelps Make Olympic History


Your Comments

The Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. All readers can browse the comments, and all Forward subscribers can add to the conversation. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Forward requires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not and will be deleted. Egregious commenters or repeat offenders will be banned from commenting. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and the Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Recommend this article

Jewish Jock Helps Phelps Make Olympic History

Thank you!

This article has been sent!