Michael Phelps has beat every human athlete of note in the swimming pool during his professional swimming career, and now it appears he’s taking on other species in retirement. Phelps has been announced as part of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week.
The event is billed as Phelps Vs. Shark: Great Gold Vs Great White and Discovery is already calling it “an event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before” in its press release.
They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. 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! Produced by Peacock Productions.
Phelps posted some shots of the trip where the event was filmed on his Instagram.
Based on the caption of this Instagram post it sounds like he at least did a cage dive with sharks, which isn’t really the same thing as racing a shark. That’s more like occupying the same general space as a shark. Which is intimidating and interesting! Just not a timed event.
I’m not sure how you race a shark anyway, and Shark Week has a habit of framing an hour-long episode of pseudoscience around 15 seconds of actually interesting footage. So who knows what’s happening here. Maybe Phelps and the shark are dropped into an Olympic size swimming pool, both stay in their lanes, and we have the greatest thing since Chad Johnson raced a horse. Here’s hoping.
We’ll all find out July 23.