In a program dubbed “Great Gold vs. Great White,” the 23-time Olympic gold medalist will be racing a shark as part of the Discovery Channel’s annual weeklong celebration of cartilaginous fish.
The showdown is set to air July 23. Michael Phelps, it seems, has lived at least one day of his life like Shark Week.
“An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before,” reads a press release. “The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark — the race is on!”
While Phelps is known for his superhuman, made-for-swimming wingspan, great white sharks can grow up to 15 feet in length and reach speeds as high as 35 mph (they generally cruise at around 5 mph, though). Phelps’ fastest swim was clocked in by ESPN at 6 mph, for comparison.
Still, we have some questions. Does the shark know the parameters of a race, for example? Will there be a protective cage of sorts involved? Will Phelps wear flippers in order to make things a little more even? Can the shark actually agree to this? What??