Thursday, March 09, 2006

Mark Spitz Swimwear

I recently became aware of a pair (is it called "a pair"?) of authentic Mark Spitz swimming trunks that will be on the auction block from our friends at VintageClothes-Line. They have the original hang tag from 1972 and are a licensed product by Arena. After winning his Olympic medals, it was quipped that Spitz was "Superman in a Speedo."

The swimsuit is made by Arena.
Spitz's face is even on the label. Once a gent clipped the tag, and summoned their own inner Olympian on the beach, they would have a constant reminder of who the suit was inspired by.

The tag might read a small size, but check the listing (read below) for measurements for your desired level of stretch. This would also be great for someone who collected Olympic memorabilia or sports advertising and wanted to add it to their collection. A woman could also use it for a mix and match bikini ensemble.

Did you know that Mark Spitz made $10,000 (which is about $50,000 today), selling the poster that is shown on the hang tag after his medal wins? At .15 cents a poster, that's a lot of posters! Before the days of saturation marketing, that is impressive.

The photo brings back an odd memory for me...

In grade school, I took swimming classes one summer at the local swimming hole. In the midwest, we had those. There were actually two swimming holes...the natural one which closed often due to infectious outbreaks and the manmade one where you had to get out of the water at a certain time everyday for them to check the bacteria levels of the water.

The teacher's name was Mr. Taylor. Mr. Taylor wore shades to swim class. And he had curly hair. Longer/bigger than Mr. Spitz in the picture as this is several years later during the hair band years. He would talk about various swimming strokes and techniques. He would talk about doing the breaststroke for a long distance and taking a breath on alternating sides with the strokes. But he never really showed you. He would get into the water, of course, maybe about waist deep. But he usually held his head parallel to the water, shielding his hair with one hand so it wouldn't get wet, and mimed it, out of the water. He would always say "I'm not really going to do it. I have a date later and don't want to get my hair wet." We never really bought that. His hair would have been okay, but it certainly wouldn't be romantic for a lady to have your date smell like unwashed off local swimming hole.

Visit the auction.

As far as Mr. Taylor, I hope his dates worked out.

~ The VintageGent-ette

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