Michael Phelps' Next Opponent Has Never Heard of Him
Because it's a dang great white shark
By Michael Harthorne,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 16, 2017 2:30 PM CDT
Olympian Michael Phelps will race a great white shark for Discovery Channel's Shark Week. Frankly, it can't be any more dangerous than hanging around Ryan Lochte in a foreign country.   (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

(Newser) – Is he high? Mashable reports Michael Phelps will race a great white shark for Discovery Channel's inescapable Shark Week. The mechanics of the race are unclear—Mashable is concerned the shark won't understand it's supposed to race the Olympian, not eat him—and a press release for the special, Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White, states such a race has never before been attempted. Discovery is billing it as a battle between "one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet" and "our greatest champion to ever get in the water." And sure, Phelps has 23 Olympic gold medals and 39 world records, but a great white shark has approximately 300 teeth.

For the Win reports Phelps has already completed a week of filming in South Africa for Shark Week, so apparently they figured out that whole don't-get-an-American-sport-hero-eaten-for-ratings thing. And Phelps seems to have had a pretty great time, saying: "Sharks are like my no. 1 favorite animal in the world; being able to see them face to face was pretty cool.” He added on Instagram that he's "always wanted" to get "in a cage and dive with great white sharks." Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White airs July 23 on Discovery. A second special, Shark School with Michael Phelps, in which the Olympian gets real close to a hammerhead shark, will air July 30.

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