Michael Phelps to Race a Great White Shark for “Shark Week”

Above: Michael Phelps competes in the 200 meter butterfly

Producers over at the Discovery Channel made a rather interesting announcement this weekend, and the news is already shaking up social media. Next month, in celebration of their popular Shark Week series, the network will showcase a special event featuring Olympic champion, Michael Phelps. According to a new press release, the 31-year-old swimmer will come out of retirement to brave the waters and race a great white shark. Yes, you read that correctly – a great white shark.

The absurd stunt will air as a one-off episode and will be the first shark-themed offering of the week. Judging by the little bit of intel we’ve been given, it seems as though the race will be a one-on-one scenario, and will be conducted in the safest manner possible. Producers are calling it 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.” If it sounds a bit crazy, it’s because it definitely is.

History’s most decorated Olympian will have his work cut out for him this time around. We know Phelps is no slouch when it comes to the front crawl, with EPSN confirming that his quickest speed is roughly 10 kilometers per hour. Great whites, however, have a recorded speed of upwards of 50 kilometers per hour, which would make them five times faster than Phelps, and roughly ten times faster than the average human.

Before we witness the star athlete dip his toes into the water, he’ll make a quick stop at the Bimini Shark Lab. While at the research centre, he’ll get a crash course of all things shark. Discovery officials state that this portion of the event will give viewers a chance to learn about the animals, and a chance for experts to set the record straight regarding myths and misconceptions.

You’ll be able to catch the wild event and all of the shark action next month. Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White airs on July 23, at 8 p.m. ET.

Tags: Michael Phelps, Olympics, Shark Week, Sharks, Summer Olympics, Swimming, Water

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