As it turns out, former Olympic swimmer Mark Spitz is not the bitter-old-man caricature that he has been portrayed as by bloggers.

American swimmer Michael Phelps’ tied Spitz’s Olympic record of seven gold medals Friday with a miracle win in the 100 meter butterfly.

Following the victory, NBC arranged a joint interview with Phelps, Spitz and studio host Bob Costas. In that interview, Spitz did not come across as bitter at all. He was gracious in his praise of Phelps.

Neil Best of Newsday (the best sports media critic in America) has a complete transcript of the interview on his blog today.

Phelps attempts to break Spitz’s record and win an Olympic record eighth gold medal later tonight.

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