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article imageReview: Michael Phelps races Great white shark in South Africa open water Special

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 30, 2017 in Sports
South Africa - 23-time Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps has raced a Great white shark in South Africa. The race with the shark was assisted with the help of computer simulation.
This highly-anticipated race was broadcast on television as part of Discovery's Shark Week. The episode was appropriately titled Phelps vs. Shark The Battle for Ocean Supremacy. The world's most accomplished swimmer competed in a 100 meter race in the open ocean in South Africa. He set an impressive time of 38.1 seconds, where the Great white shark ultimately bested Phelps with 36.1 seconds (two seconds faster). Both Phelps and the shark swam the same course separately, but the generated footage was pieced together to make it seem as if they were racing next to each other, and rightfully so (due to the precarious nature of this challenge).
A highly-decorated U.S. Olympian, Phelps had traveled 30 hours to South Africa to partake in this challenge. He had prepared for hours in the open water with the help of a special fin, in an effort to increase his speed. "Am I faster than a shark? Watch with me to find out," he had teased, weeks prior to the airing of this episode on Discovery.
Phelps did have an encounter with a real Great white shark, where he was in a caged environment in the open water, which looking back, was reminiscent of a scene from the classic thriller Jaws.
In an interview that aired on Good Morning America, Phelps revealed that while he does not like taking silver medals, he would take one to a Great white shark.
Overall, this was an instance, where human/athlete power had to be combined with the power of technology. Phelps had utilized a swimsuit that replicated the skin of a Great white shark. This race was certainly the highlight of Shark Week, and another bold instance of man vs. beast. Michael Phelps ought to be commended for his brevity.
More about Michael phelps, Great white shark, Olympian, South Africa
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