Mark burst onto the International scene as a youngster representing England at the 1986 Commonwealth Games at the age of 17 he has gone on to represent his country more times and be more decorated than any other male swimmer. He has held both the World Record for 50m Freestyle and 50m Butterfly at the same times during a glittering career spanning 3 decades. Mark is amongst the most successful British swimmers of all time. He made a remarkable comeback at the national championships in July 2007 winning both events he competed in after barely training. His breakthrough came in 1990 when he won his first individual international medal bronze in the Commonwealth Games in Auckland. He finished the 50meter freestyle with a time of 23.16 seconds. He had previously won bronze as part of the 100 meter freestyle relay in the Edinburgh games four years previous, but cites the 1990 medal as his first great sporting moment. Success followed rapidly, and Mark went on to break the World Short Course freestyle record four times, the World Short Course butterfly record twice, and once setting the World Long Course butterfly record (in 1996) with a time of 24.07 seconds. After his disappointment at not being selected for the 2004 Olympics, Mark came back to win a stunning gold in the World Short Course Championships in Indianapolis later that year. In the 50meter freestyle he touched in 21.58 seconds, ahead of Stefan Nystrand of Sweden. Now in 2008, at the age of 38, Mark has returned to the sporting scene, to compete in Beijing for one last attempt at his fifth Olympic Games, having won the 50m freestyle at the British championships in Sheffield this April. The former world champion clocked 22.30 seconds to reach his fifth Olympics since qualifying for the 1988 Games in Seoul. Mark was also nominated by the rest of Team GB to lead the GB team and carry the Union Jack in this year’s Opening Ceremony, at this year’s Beijing Olympic Games. Mark Said: “This could potentially be my last Olympics, so to go home, medal or no medal, having had the opportunity to lead my team, and be placed up there, alongside some of the most wonderful names in British sport, as a flag bearer for Great Britain is true honor, and a lifelong achievement.” this goes alongside everything I have ever done in sport. There have only ever been 29 flag bearers for Britain and they have been some very illustrious names,” Foster said. In addition to his sporting portfolio, Mark is also known for his enthusiasm in numerous TV appearances, for shows such as; ITV’s ‘Beat the Stars’ hosted by Vernon Kay this April, as well as his upcoming challenge as on of the ‘Superstars’ athletes, to be screened later this summer.
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