Michael Phelps lost by two seconds to the great white shark in an entertaining hour-long Discovery Channel broadcast. The moment we had all been waiting for arrived as Phelps raced a great white shark.
Once fans actually see the race, there may be some who are disappointed. The shark was super imposed into the water as Phelps swam. Discovery Channel timed the shark earlier to allow them to do the simulation.
Phelps did not line up next to a shark to try to beat him to the finish line. Given this would not have been the safest move for Phelps, Discovery Channel came up with a format that worked for the race. Phelps and the shark raced in the same ocean water, but not at the same time.
The crew was able to get the shark to swim 100 meters in order to time it. Phelps then swam the same length in the ocean, and the two times were compared.
Even if they did not swim at the same time, it was still a bold move by Phelps. There were 12 to 14 safety divers in the water at the same time as Phelps just in case anything went wrong. Phelps also went to shark school to learn more about what to do when you are in the same water as sharks.
Phelps has confessed to being a big shark nerd, so what we may see as dangerous was a thrill for the former Olympic swimmer. Given we are in the dog days of summer with very few sports options, here’s to Phelps giving us an exciting Sunday night, even if it was a bit of a gimmick.
It is worth noting that while Phelps did not defeat the great white, he was faster than a reef shark.