Mark Spitz: Testing The Limits Of Middle Age

Q. It has been 18 years since you won at the Olympics. You are financially secure. You are married, with one child. Why are you doing this?

A. In everyday life there is always manana. There is no urgency. One of the most difficult things for people who have been successful in sports is adapting to the daily world where you can't get an answer from someone until 5 o'clock tomorrow. There is always an excuse. Living 40 or 50 years like that doesn't get too exciting after a while.

Q. So you miss the pressure?

A. I loved it. In...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!