I am happy for Michael Phelps' success in the swimming events at the Beijing Olympics. But it is difficult to compare Phelps to swimming sensation Mark Spitz and the seven gold medals he earned at the 1972 Munich Olympics.

Spitz did not have the technological advantage of super-speed pools and laser-sleek swim suits. Nor did he wear a streamlined swimming cap to cover his hair when he won his medals (he also swam those events with a mustache).

Spitz won his medals the old-fashioned way, and it has taken more than 30 years of innovation and technology for anyone to come close to his Olympic success.

Mark D. Reese

Salt Lake City