Long before there was a Thorpedo, there was Mark Spitz, who
became a global poster boy with an image that probably makes him
cringe today: a shot of him wearing nothing but his Speedo and
his seven gold medals. That photo was famous, but not as good as
the one at left. Along with such striking action, SI was
portrait-heavy in the 1970s, creating a social register of
sport's new personalities--many of them outsized, at least one of
Memorable pictures don't always elicit pleasure--one can only
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY CO RENTMEESTER/TIME LIFE PICTURES/GETTY IMAGES 1972 MARK SPITZ He dived into the pool seven times in Munich and each timeemerged with an Olympic gold medal and a world record.
B/W PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY KURT STRUMPF/AP 1972 OLYMPIC TERRORISTS
cringe at the grainy shot of a terrorist in Munich's Olympic
village--but some of them inspire pure joy: Bobby Orr letting one
fly or the riddle of the Leon Spinks grin.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY JAMES DRAKE 1978 LEON SPINKS
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL LEIFER 1977 REGGIE JACKSON
B/W PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY RAY LUSSIER/BOSTON HERALD-AMERICAN 1970 BOBBY ORR
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY MELCHIOR DIGIACOMO 1972 GILLES VILLEMURE There was no rest for New York's goalie against Chicago duringthe NHL playoffs.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY HEINZ KLUETMEIER 1976 PETE ROSE Charlie Hustle puts down his landing gear as he approaches thirdbase.
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY HEINZ KLUETMEIER 1974 EVEL KNIEVEL
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY JUNE HARRISON 1978 BILLIE JEAN KING
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY ERIC SCHWEIKARDT 1977 TED TURNER
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY NEIL LEIFER 1973 GEORGE STEINBRENNER
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY MANNY MILLAN 1978 SIDNEY MONCRIEF
COLOR PHOTO: PHOTOGRAPH BY WALTER IOOSS JR. 1970 JOHNNY UNITAS