Mark Spitz claims he could have matched fellow swimmer Michael Phelps stride for stride if the two legends swam against each other in their primes, the New York Daily News reports.
Spitz, whose 1972 record of seven gold medals in a single Olympic Games was eclipsed Sunday when Phelps won his eighth, said he thinks he'd "tie" the 23-year-old phenom.
"I think that the relationship between people that are great is they have a common thread of knowing how to beat their competitors and they know how to constantly be in shape and in top form," Spitz told the Daily News. "If that's the case, I'd know everything about how to beat Michael. He'd also know everything to beat me. We'd have to tie."
Spitz, 58, predicted Phelps could win more gold medals at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
"I believe that he can go for nine," Spitz told the paper, adding that Phelps could add the 200 meter backstroke into his regimen. "But they need to change the order in which it's participated on that particular day … so that he would have more than 27 minutes of rest."