posted on Jul, 11 2004 @ 09:32 AM
LONG BEACH, Calif. -- Mark Spitz draped the medal around Michael Phelps' neck and pulled the teenager close, whispering in his ear.
Then Spitz hopped atop the podium, held Phelps' right hand in the air and pointed at him as if to say, "He's the man now."
The swimming baton was passed Saturday.
Michael Phelps made it three in a row at the U.S. Olympic swimming trials, dominating the 200-meter butterfly to stay on course in his bid to break
Spitz's record of seven gold medals.
In a symbolic moment, the two met for the first time during the award ceremony. It seemed as if Spitz was giving his blessing for the 19-year-old to
take down one of sport's most revered records when he gets to Athens next month.
"I think he really has a chance to do this," said Spitz, who won his seven golds at the 1972 Munich Games. "That's one of the things I told him."