An extract on #ene
From 1964 to 1968 Spitz attended Santa Clara High School. After graduating he went on to Indiana University. At Indiana University from 1968 to 1972, he was a pre-dental student and member of Phi Kappa Psi Fraternity. Time magazine asked him if he wanted to return to dental school after the Olympics. "I always wanted to be a dentist from the time I was in high school, and I was accepted to dental school in the spring of 1972. I was planning to go, but after the Olympics there were other opportunities. I did some television and speaking engagements, and things just went from there."
In an era when other swimmers, male and female, were shaving body hair, he swam with a moustache. When asked why he initially grew one he stated "I grew the moustache because a coach in college said I couldn't grow one." Spitz said he originally grew the moustache as a form of rebellion against the clean-cut look imposed on him in college. "It took a long time to grow," he said. It took four months to grow, but Spitz was proud of it, he decided the moustache was a "good-luck piece."
Mark Spitz is quoted as saying, "When I went to the Olympics, I had every intention of shaving the moustache off, but I realized I was getting so many comments about itand everybody was talking about itthat I decided to keep it. I had some fun with a Russian coach who asked me if my moustache slowed me down. I said, 'No, as a matter of fact, it deflects water away from my mouth, allows my rear end to rise and make me bullet-shaped in the water, and that's what had allowed me to swim so great.' He's translating as fast as he can for the other coaches, and the following year every Russian male swimmer had a moustache."
According to a Sports Illustrated article, on February 14, 1988, after talking about shaving off his moustache for a year, he finally did. "He looked great with it, don't get me wrong," explained his wife Suzy, "but he looks so handsome without it."
When he was asked why he shaved it off he responded "well, one, I'm not swimming anymore; two, it started to turn gray; and three, my wife had never seen me, nor my family, without the moustache . . . I'm happy [without it]." He also commented on his moustache in a live, in-studio interview with KCRA host Mike TeSelle on June 14, 2008, Spitz stating that he no longer maintains his iconic moustache because it had become "too gray."