Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps vs. a great white shark: ‘The race is on’

We learned in March that celebrated Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps was going to be a part of “Shark Week” on Discovery. Now we know what he’ll be doing: Phelps is going to race a great white shark.

Discovery is billing the show scheduled for July 23 as “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White.”

“They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks,” the news release said. “He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps v Shark – the race is on!”

Nobody truly expects Phelps to be swimming next to a great white shark, but then, Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, once raced next to a cheetah … in a virtual race.

In 2013, NatGeo Wild superimposed a cheetah next to Bolt in the race in which he set a world record of 9.58 seconds in the 100 meters. The cheetah, which can reach 70 mph, ran the 100 meters in 5.95 seconds.

Considering a great white shark can reach speeds up to 25 mph and the star Olympian’s top swimming speed is said to be about 6 mph, Phelps doesn’t stand much of a chance however the race is produced.

The Washington Post wrote that an Instagram photo Phelps posted the other day might be a “possible preview of what to expect.”

Another episode called “Shark School with Michael Phelps” on July 30 will “dispel the myths and common misconceptions” about sharks and will teach the swimmer “how to stay calm when a hammerhead swims 2 feet above his face.”

Interestingly, the news about Phelps racing a great white shark was released on the same day a story was published by NBC Sports about Phelps criticizing the IOC for adding more swimming events to the Olympics.

Which is likely to get more coverage? Probably his race against a shark.

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