Mark Spitz has been questioned repeatedly over how he feels now that Michael Phelps has more medals than he does. Holding up the latest cover of Sports Illustrated, featuring a grinning Phelps wearing his eight gold medals around his neck — a re-creation of Spitz’s famous seven-gold-medal pose from 1972 — the elder champion smiled and commended the 2008 phenomenon. But he couldn’t resist giving a “competitive” answer when asked who he thought was the faster swimmer, saying:
“I think that the relationship between people that are great is they have a common thread of knowing how to beat their competitors and they know how to constantly be in shape and in top form,” Spitz told the Daily News.“If that’s the case, I’d know everything about how to beat Michael,” he said. “He’d also know everything to beat me. We’d have to tie.”
Spitz vs. Phelps: A 'Tie'?