Michael Phelps, Shark Race – Watch Video!

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Michael Phelps Shark Race Live Stream

By Michael Lewittes |

Michael Phelps Shark Race Live Stream

(Getty Images)

Michael Phelps raced against a great white shark on the Discovery Channel and lost. But it was close. The Olympian was just two seconds behind the the deadliest predator in the water. Watch the video below of the greatest swimmer alive attempting to out swim a great white during the cable channel’s “Shark Week.”

Phelps, who is the most decorated Olympian ever, with 23 gold medals and five silver and bronze awards, explained his motivation for the race in a promo. He noted, “I’ve raced the fastest swimmers on the planet, except for one.” He also told Jimmy Fallon last week on the “Tonight Show” that he’s had “an infatuation with sharks my whole life.”

For his race against a great white shark, Phelps traveled to South Africa, where he dove off the chilly waters outside of Cape Town. Phelps and the shark were measured across 100 meters, a distance for which he set the butterfly world record in Rome in 2009. At the time, Phelps swam approximately 4.5 mph. He has said, though, he has reached speeds of up to 6 mph. And after training for hours with a monofin, similar to the shape of a shark’s tail fin, Phelps was able to top 8.5 mph.

The problem for Olympic swimmer was that great white sharks can go up to 25 mph in short bursts, and they do that when they’re in search of food. And while Phelps was able to beat reef sharks when practicing, he couldn’t outpace the great white shark toward the end of their race. In the beginning, Phelps actually out swam the great white, and was even nose-to-nose halfway through the 100 meters, but right at the end of the race, the large shark was able to propel itself to victory. In the end, Phelps finished in 38.1 seconds to the great white shark’s 36.1 seconds across 100 meters.

The race between Phelps and a great white shark aired at 8 p.m. EST on the Discovery Channel. Watch the video below of the Olympic gold medalist attempting to beat a great white shark!

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