How can one not be won over by Phelps' feat?

Updated: August 17, 2008, 3:06 PM ET
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

BEIJING -- Mark Spitz, meet Roger Maris. And say hello to Bob Beamon while you're at it.

I was 10 years old the summer Spitz won seven gold medals at the 1972 Munich Games, and I still vividly remember getting the news of his latest races in Munich. For 36 years, those seven golds loomed as one of the few true magic numbers in sports, like Joe DiMaggio's 56-game hitting streak, Ted Williams' .406 batting average and Wilt Chamberlain's 100-point game. Spitz's mark was so special that ...

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