Chicago / Sports

Splish Splash


Over Labor Day weekend, I plunged into the cooling waters of Chicago’s Portage Park swimming pool. Aaahhhh.

A plaque outside the complex says swimmer Mark Spitz set new records here, during the 1972 Olympic trials. Here’s a video of him competing in the butterfly at Portage Park. Check out his long arms and fast speed.


Spitz went on to amaze us at the 1972 Olympics in Munich, Germany. Wearing a red, white and blue Speedo and a mustache, he won seven gold medals (freestyle and butterfly, individual and relay), and set a world record in every event he entered.

Spitz’s record of seven gold medals stood for 36 years — until Michael Phelps bested it and won eight gold medals in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, China. Still, Spitz’s accomplishment is iconic. As is his beefcake photo, shown above.


But what I think is the coolest, is that I swim in the same pool he once did!