While the 1972 Munich Games was struck with tragedy, it was the time where Mark Spitz made some unimaginable accomplishments by setting seven world records in the span of eight days.
Spitz took the world by storm when he won the gold medal in the 100- and 200- meter freestyle and butterfly events, the 4×100- and 4×200-meter freestyle relay, and the 4×100-meter medley relay. That was unbroken for 36 years until Michael Phelps came along.
When former pro-baseball first baseman, Mark McGwire, joined the MLB, he was already all about breaking league records. As a rookie, in 1987, he set the record for most home runs hit by a rookie (49). He would go on to become one of the most prolific home run hitters ever.
He is photographed here looking up, at the end of a follow through swing that would give him home run number 61. The Cardinals star player tied Roger Maris’ record, and would easily surpass him the next day. He finished that season with 70; a record that would stand for three years.
EARVIN 'MAGIC' JOHNSON AND LARRY BIRD
Earvin “Magic” Johnson and Larry Bird are photographed together here, in a game between Michigan State and Indiana State on March 26, 1979. They seem to be in a bit of a discussion about ball possession. Their iconic rivalry that would go on for years into pro basketball all started here, where Magic’s Michigan State basketball team would go on to beat Indiana to win the 1979 NCAA finals.
They both retired from the NBA as legends and turned their rivalry into a lasting friendship. Whenever basketball fans talk about the 80s—the Lakers, and the Celtics in particular—these two rivals are reborn.
Roberto Clemente started his baseball career in Puerto Rico but was able to attract the attention of the Brooklyn Dodgers who offered him a contract to play with one of their Triple-A affiliates. Moving from his home country, he had to adjust to a different climate and adapt to a new language.
Clemente wouldn’t be stumped by these challenges. In fact, he would excel as a baseball player, even winning the MVP award in 1966. He is photographed tracing a pitch, in a game they won 2-1 versus the San Diego Padres. Unfortunately, the Pittsburgh Pirate star’s career ended abruptly in a plane crash that same year.
This is a photograph of Russian weightlifter, Vasily Alexeyev. He wasn’t as big as most super heavyweights, so when he was just starting up, his trainer would encourage him to add more weight in order to gain more strength. Vasily Alexeyev trained with a personal coach until 1968.
This photograph was shot in 1970. Remarkably, he was able to clean & jerk 500 pounds in official competition, the first man ever to do so in that year. He set a total of 80 world records and is considered to be the greatest weightlifter in history.