Michael Phelps is racing against a white shark in the celebration of the 29th Discovery’s Shark Week. The anticipated race will be aired on Sunday at Discovery.
The gold medalist has been a long fan of the marine predator and was glad to jump in the project. He’s doing it in order to bring awareness over the long demonized animal and showing that they’re just animals trying to survive.
Man vs Shark
In the name of Shark Week, Michael Phelps will dive back into the water and take on his most fearsome opponent to date: a great white shark.
The world’s greatest swimmer will race a shark expecting to bring awareness over the feared animal. Yes, he’s doing it so we can learn about this predator of the sea.
And it’s all happening at the very beginning of the 29th installment of Discovery’s Shark Week.
It was in Cape Town, South Africa, that Phelps tested his speed against one of the ocean’s apex predators in an open water race
But don’t worry, the swimmer didn’t race side-by-side with the deadly animal, but a competition was set up to see who could swim 100 meters in the fastest time.
For the unbelievable race, Phelps was given a small advantage, a special monofin. After all great whites capable of speeds of up to 25 miles per hour, it’s reasonable to assume that the 28-time Olympic medalist is not a favorite to win.
“For 20 years of me spending time in the sport of swimming and training, this is going to make me the fastest? Just putting on this fin is going to make the fastest?” questions Phelps.
“Should have just done this all along. What the hell was I thinking?”
‘Phelps vs Shark: Great Gold vs Great White’ airs Sunday at 8 p.m. ET.
Learning during Shark Week
For 28-time Olympic medalist Michael Phelps, swimming with sharks has been a lifelong time dream.
“It’s been on my bucket list for years and years,” Phelps says in the latest issue of PEOPLE. “As soon as I got down there and saw the fin for the first time, I knew I was going to love it.”
And he took Shark Week seriously, not only when it comes to racing the seas predator. Phelps is also part of ‘Shark School with Michael Phelps,’ in which he teaches viewers with valuable information about sharks.
Before the race, Phelps traveled with wife, Nicole, and the Discovery Channel to the Bahamas where he got an “intro to sharks” and swam in open water with a 13-ft. hammerhead. “At one point she was just 12 inches from my face,” says Phelps, 32. “It was amazing!”
“Seeing how fast they can move and switch direction on a dime, it’s unbelievable,” says Phelps, who hopes his experience can help educate others that “sharks aren’t out to eat us. They’re just like us, trying to survive.”
Phelps is such a big fan of sharks, he and Nicole even celebrated their son Boomer‘s first birthday with a shark-themed party complete with a banana, peanut butter, and chocolate cake. “It was a lot of fun!”
‘Shark School with Michael Phelps’ airs July 30 at 8 p.m. on Discovery Channel.
Source: Sports Illustrated