If you turned on your TV at all in the past couple of weeks, there’s a good chance you saw previews for something that sounded completely insane – Michael Phelps was going to race a great white shark for Shark Week. The whole thing sounds equally dangerous and insane, but if anyone is going to have a chance to outswim a white shark it has to be Phelps, right?
Phelps didn’t actually end up racing a real live great white shark. What Phelps actually did was he raced against a computer simulation of the shark over a distance of 100 meters. That ended up disappointing some viewers who were expecting to see the 28 time Olympic gold medalist to race against an actual shark.
It’s not surprising Phelps didn’t race an actual great white. In fact, it’d be ridiculous to even expect that. A shark isn’t going to race in a straight line without doing whatever they want to do. The people at Discovery also aren’t going to risk the life of the greatest Olympic athlete of our countries history to find out if he’s better than a shark.
Discovery also has a history of making Shark Week specials sound way crazier than they actually end up being, so this ‘let down’ isn’t entirely unprecedented.
In the end, Phelps raced a simulation and ended up losing by two seconds. You almost had it, Michael.