Michael Phelps fans are upset that the olypmic superstar didn’t get to actually swim ‘face to face’ against an actual shark in a recent event carried by the Discovery Channel for Shark Week. Phelps raced a shark in the pool, but the shark was CGI’d in. His fans love him so much, and are so convinced the star swimmer would have beaten a shark, that they want him to actually go into the water and ‘race’ a shark. Now, I’m not saying they’re wrong, but I’m not saying they’re right either. For my money, I’m willing to buy that pay per view show. Some of the awesome side bets are sure to be “Phelps gets eatean,” “Phelps gets eaten by ….” “Phelps loses limb.” I wonder what the over-under on the seconds it would take Phelps to get torn to shreds would be.
Either way, the man, the myth, the legend, couldn’t beat the CGI shark, at leas tnotn the hammerhead.
Watch the race:
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Michael Phelps put his best fin foot forward, but he’s still in a bit of hot water.
The most decorated Olympian of all time faced his greatest challenge yet when he decided to race three different sharks in honor of Shark Week. For the Discovery Channel special Phelps vs Shark: Great Gold vs Great White aired on Sunday, the 32-year-old gold medalist traded in a pool for the colder coast of Cape Town, South Africa to test his award-winning speed.
In order to more fairly compete with the sea creatures, Phelps swam with a monofin, which would help him simulate the style of a shark. While they did try to level the racing field as much as possible, viewers took issue with the fact that the athlete wasn’t actually racing next to the sharks. As had been revealed prior to the special, Phelps would face off against sharks superimposed next to him with the help of CGI technology.
“Clearly, we can’t put Michael in one lane and a shark in the far lane. We have to do simulation,” Dr. Tristan Guttridge explained. “We’ll use our speed data that we’ve [collected] in all our testing.”
So, how did those speeds compare? He managed to swim 50 meters in 18.7 seconds, outpacing the reef shark by 0.2 seconds, but trailing behind the hammerhead, who finished in 15.1 seconds. As for the great white, in a 100-meter race, Phelps finished only two seconds behind and, at times, was swimming faster. However, the cold proved to be almost as challenging as the shark itself.
“Before I dove in, I knew how cold it was going to be, and I knew that for me, as a swimmer, we don’t swim in this, and it basically just shocked your entire body,” he said. “I have this little tiny wetsuit on, so it’s absolutely freezing.”
Despite his impressive performance, fans honed in on the fact that Phelps was racing his opponents from across an ocean.
“THERE’S NOT ACTUALLY GOING TO BE A SHARK NEXT TO HIM I QUIT IT’S ALL BEEN A LIE,” one viewer quipped on Twitter. “Call me crazy but I thought they were gonna put Phelps up against a real shark not a simulation. I feel robbed,” another remarked.
Olympic gold medalist faces off against great white, hammerhead and reef sharks