A different time and place

Updated: August 20, 2004, 8:22 PM ET
By Jim Caple | ESPN.com

ATHENS, Greece -- The morning of what turned out to be his final race here, Michael Phelps saw Mark Spitz hanging around the Olympic pool, which isn't too surprising. Phelps has been carrying the guy around on his back the entire week.

Spitz held up four fingers Friday morning, one for each individual gold medal he won in 1972. The gesture was clear to Phelps: You can do it, too. Win your fourth and join the club. No blood initiation required. Dues later.

He did, coming from behind ...

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