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April 12, 1991 - Image 54

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1991-04-12

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

SPORTS

THREE WAYS TO
BUY A CAR

Mark Spitz Trying
For Olympic Comeback

AL HARRIS

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I

n what may well be the
shortest competition for
the most money in the
annals of aquatic sports,
Mark Spitz will go one-on-
one against two of the
world's fastest swimmers
next month.
On April 13, Mr. Spitz, 41,
who set seven records on the
way to seven gold medals at
the 1972 Olympics, will hit
the hoped for comeback trail
by racing Tom Jager in the
50-meter butterfly. The
purse will be $30,000, with
the winner taking $20,000
and the loser $10,000 in a
race expected to last about
22 seconds.
Two weeks later, on April
27, Spitz will face Matt
Biondi, also in the 50-meter
butterfly, for an even richer
purse. The split is $35,000
for the winner and $15,000
for the loser. Both events
will be at the Mission Viejo
sports complex, about an
hour's drive south of Los
Angeles, and will be tele-
vised live across the United
States.
Spitz's competition is for-
midable, as he is the first to
admit.
Jager is the international

Tom Tugend writes from Los
Angeles.

These questions have been compiled by Irwin Cohen,
coordinator of group sales for the Detroit Tigers.
Answers to the trivia questions, as well as free Tigers
tickets and other prizes, will be part of Baseball Bonanza!
on April 14 from 1-4 p.m. at the Jimmy Prentis Morris
Jewish Community Center, 15110 W 10 Mile Road, Oak
Park. Please bring your answers to the Baseball Bonanza!,
sponsored by the Neighborhood Project.

Name a Jewish slugger who played for the Detroit
Tigers and is in the Hall of Fame.

Name the starting pitcher for the American League in
the 1980 All-Star Game. Now he's a telecaster for a National
League club.

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record holder in the 50-
meter freestyle and is con-
sidered the world's fastest
human in water. Matt Bion-
di is the world champion in
the 100-meter freestyle and
won five gold medals at the
1988 Olympics in Seoul.
Though their strongest suit
is the freestyle, both also
excel in the "fly."
The events, sponsored by
Clairol, are jointly billed as
the Clairol Option
Challenge — named for a
men's hair coloring product
Spitz promotes in television
commercials.
But Spitz said he is not in
it for the money. He is enter-
ing the competitions to
evaluate his progress toward
a goal he set 20 months ago
—a berth on the 1992 U.S.
Olympics team. But instead
of entering seven races, he
would limit himself to the
100-meter butterfly.
"I need to compete to know
where I'm at," Spitz said.
"I'm going to use the results
as a benchmark to evaluate
where I stand and whether
my training is proper."
Spitz also explained why
he picked the 50-meter but-
terfly, a non-Olympic event
without even a recognized
world record.
"At this stage of my train-
ing, 50 meters is the first
floor," he said. "Later, I'll
build the second floor."
In a sport where men gen-

Jewish Baseball Quiz

Admission: $22.00
EVERYONE WELCOME

RESIDENTIAL

TOM TUGEND

.

The Women's Health Club
of the
Jewish Community Center
of Metropolitan Detroit

— - - -N;,
-- 1i

The winner of seven gold medals in 1972
wants to compete in 1992.

He's the oldest coach in the major leagues at 86 and a
former roommate of Babe Ruth when both played for the
Yankees.

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He pitched for the Brooklyn Dodgers and Los Angeles
Dodgers and is in the Hall of Fame.

These brothers = one a pitcher and one a catcher —
were teammates with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

erally peak between their
late teens and middle twen-
ties, Spitz's proclaimed in-
tention to go up against top
athletes half his age was
generally greeted as a
publicity stunt or a joke.
Spitz ignored the rude
comments, sold his wo-
men's sportswear manufac-
turing business, and went in-
to training. He now swims
two to three hours a day, five
to six days a week, com-
plemented by weight and
muscle development exer-
cises.

Mark Spitz:
On comeback trail.

To get ready for the seven
events at the Munich Olym-
pics,. Spitz swam some
26,000 miles. But "this time,
with just one event, and that
one a sprint, I'll have only 10
percent of the workload I
had then," he said.
Ron Ballatore, head swim
coach at the University of
California at Los Angeles,
has been supervising Spitz's
training and seems satisfied
with the progress of his
senior competitor.
Spitz, a native Californian,
made his first international
splash at the 1965 Mac-
cabiah in Israel, where he
won five medals and re-
peated the feat four years
later. At the 1985 Mac-
cabiah, he became the first
non-Israeli to carry the tra-
ditional torch into the
Ramat Gan stadium.
As Spitz looks toward
Olympiad XXV, he appears
hopeful, but realistic. In the
same vein, he weighs his
chances in the upcoming
races against Jager and
Biondi.
"One thing I know," he
dead-panned. "I'll get no
worse than second."



54

FRIDAY, APRIL 12, 1991

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