Swimmer Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympian of all time, yesterday (July 23) ‘raced’ a great white shark and lost.
In a 100m, open-water race in South Africa, the retired athlete took on a toothy opponent as part of the Discovery Channel’s ‘Shark Week’.
Spoiler alert: The two competitors weren’t in the water at the same time for “safety reasons”, according to Phelps.
Researchers from the channel first recorded the shark’s time and then the 32-year-old completed the course in the same conditions off the coast of South Africa.
The Twittersphere expressed its disappointment that the athlete didn’t race a real shark, but rather a simulated one.
smh Michael Phelps isn’t actually racing a shark. He’s just racing a simulation of a shark. Biggest scam of 2017— Marcus ¬ (@M_Frosti) July 24, 2017
When Michael Phelps said he was gonna race a shark this is how I pictured it happening #SharkWeek pic.twitter.com/GiEfJssNhL— Ryan Homler (@RHomler) July 24, 2017
In an attempt to even the race up the American wore a ‘monofin’, which mimicked the shark’s movements and significantly increased his speed; he swam the 100m stretch in 38.1 seconds.
However, he was not able to keep up with the great white, which is capable of swimming 40km/h in short bursts, and lost by two seconds.
The retired athlete took to Twitter demanding a rematch and calling for warmer water for the next race.
Rematch? Next time..warmer water. #SW30 Discovery SharkWeek— Michael Phelps (@MichaelPhelps) July 24, 2017