Matt Biondi hopes to swim in seven events at next month's Olympics, but that's where the similarities end between him and Mark Spitz.
Biondi will try out for four individual events at the U.S. Swimming Olympic trials, starting Monday at the Texas Swimming Center, and he also could be on three relay teams at the Games in Seoul, South Korea.Spitz won an unprecedented seven gold medals at the 1972 Olympics at Munich.
Spitz captured individual golds in the 100 and 200-meter freestyles and the 100 and 200 butterfly events, while Biondi will swim the 50, 100 and 200 freestyles and the 100 butterfly.
"There's really no parallel between him and me," Biondi said Saturday at a news conference. "He had four world records in his events and I have just one, and I have to swim against the world record-holders in the other three."
On the first day of the trials Monday, Biondi will swim the 200 freestyle. He set the American record of 1 minute, 47.89 seconds, .41 off the world record, in 1985.
He wasn't even in the top 10 in the world in 1987 and is listed as the sixth seed at the trials, but said he has worked especially hard to get ready for the 200.
"I'm in better shape than I've been in the past because I've put a lot of my effort in training for the 200," said the 6-foot-6 Biondi, the world record-holder in the 100. "The 100 was the event I was born for. But when you prepare for the 200, the 100 and 50 can take care of themselves."
The trials begin with the women's 100 freestyle and continue with the men's 100 breaststroke and the women's 400 individual medley before the men's 200 freestyle.
Biondi was on the gold medal-winning 400 freestyle relay team at the 1984 Olympics, but in the intervening years, he has become one of the dominant swimmers in the world.
"I know what it's like to experience the Olympics, but I wasn't under pressure to do well," Biondi said of 1984.