‘Will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark?’ – soon we will find out
MICHAEL PHELPS is to take on a Great White shark next week in a fascinating showdown.
The most decorated Olympian of all time, with 28 medals, is to take on the beast for Discovery Channels Shark Week commencing on Sunday.
The swimmer will finally put Gareth Keenan, of cult sitcom The Office, infamous question to the test. “Will there ever be a boy born who can swim faster than a shark?”
When Will Michael Phelps Race a Shark?
The 32 year old will kick off shark week on July 23 with the race, which has been dubbed by the Discovery Channel as “Phelps v Shark: Great Gold v Great White”.
The yank, who was nicknamed “The Baltimore Bullet”, retired after winning 5 gold medals at the 2016 Rio Olympics.
A press release from the Discovery Channel states that “the world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator”
Phelps has a top speed of 6 mph, whereas a Great White tops out at around 25 mph.
To help combat this gap, the Olympic champion will wear a Lunocet swim fin which should give him a competitive edge.
Phelps told USA Today that he estimates with the fin he got up to “8 to 10, maybe 12. But for me, it actually gives me more of an appreciation for how fast (sharks) move through the water, especially at their size.”
Phelps episode will start with the 23 times gold medallist diving with the sharks, before he compares his times to the sharks over a 100m stretch.
He swam the race last month on open water with the safety of a diving team in Cape Town, South Africa, where his time was then matched against that of s Great White.
What has Michael Phelps said about it?
Speaking to USA Today, Phelps said: “Shark Week was always during major competition, so between (pool) sessions, I was watching stuff about sharks and trying to learn more,
“That’s where my biggest nerdy side comes out, because I’m so infatuated with water and infatuated with sharks.”
This year, instead of watching from a hotel room, he’ll be onscreen in the action.
The swimmer will also close out Shark Week the following Sunday with “Shark School with Michael Phelps”
In this show he’ll get up close and personal with a 13ft hammerhead shark in the Bahamas, spending time lying on the ocean floor as they swim within a foot of his face.
What are the experts saying?
Tooni Mahto from the Australian Marine Conservation Society told BBC Radio 5 live: “it is a forgone conclusion as to who is going to come out on top”
Former Olympic teammate and 12 time gold medallist Ryan Lochte shares the same confidence in Phelps, saying “Hell no” when asked about Phelps chances.
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