Having devoured all human competition for years, Michael Phelps dove into the water on Sunday night against his most formidable opponent of all-time:
A great white shark.
The most decorated athlete in Olympic history helped kick off Shark Week on the Discovery Channel with a primetime special titled:
“Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White."
It was a winning concept.
Who would NOT tune in to see a man with 23 gold medals swim 100 meters against the most dangerous animal in the ocean?
"I’ve raced the fastest swimmers on the planet, except for one," said Michael in promos leading up up to the race.
The event took place in Cape Town, South Africa… and the 32-year-old Phelps was an underdog from the outset.
Consider: When he broke the world record in the 100 Meter Butterfly back in 2009, he averaged 4.5 miles per hour during his swim.
Equipped with a monofin in the shape of a shark’s tail fin, he said he had been ramped up to 8.5 miles per hour during training.
But the fearsome, iconic great white shark can swim 25 miles per hour in short distances, especially when it is on the hunt for food.
That made this sharp-toothed predator even more of a favorite than Russia was against the United States hockey team in 1980.
Yet... we all know how that game turned out, don't we?
Could Phelps pull off a similar upset?! Instead of the Miracle on Ice, might we see the Shark Week Miracle in the Pool?!
No. Phelps lost by two seconds.
He wasn't exactly racing alongside an actual shark, either, as promos implied ... left many viewers feeling like the real loser.
Obviously, there was no way producers were going to let that debacle happen, but the implication was that it was the case.
Pretty shameless, but a lot of people tuned in, tobe sure. Watch the following video to see what we mean and then decide:
Did this race live up to the hype?
Or it totally bite? (Sorry.)