He’s going to need a bigger stroke.
Swimmer Ryan Lochte, the 12-time Olympic medalist, said his former teammate Michael Phelps will not win his race against a great white shark next Sunday, TMZ reported.
“Hell no,” Lochte said when asked about Phelps’ chances.
Phelps, winner of 23 Olympic gold medals and holder of 39 world records, will kick off Discovery’s Shark Week 2017 with “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White” on July 23.
The special, which explores the great white, will feature Phelps diving with them and, ultimately, comparing his times to the sharks over a distance of 100 meters, according to Yahoo TV.
However, in the interest of not allowing the greatest Olympian of the era to become shark food, Phelps swam the race last month on open water with the safety of a dicing team in Cape Town, South Africa, where his time was matched against that of a great white at top speed.
For the experiment, Phelps wore a Lunocet swim fin, which is expected to give him a competitive edge.
When asked why the 32-year-old swimmer would bother with the test, given that sharks most definitely swim faster than human beings, education and curiosity seemed to be his guiding stars.
'I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, why not? Let’s see who would win a race.’'
“I was like, ‘Yeah, sure, why not? Let’s see who would win a race,’” he told Entertainment Weekly. “It’s hard for me to race something that has the speed that they have, and how fast they can turn on a dime is something that’s truly incredible, especially with the size of these animals. I got in and did my best, and you guys are going to have to see what the outcome is.”
Coincidentally, Shark Week played a big role in Phelps life as he worked to become the record-setting athlete that he is today. Speaking to USA Today, he noted that Discovery’s annual event usually coincides with one of the biggest swimming events of the year. When he wasn’t in the pool, Phelps says he was in his hotel room watching TV. Between that and his pre-existing fascination with sharks, he had very little reason to turn down the race.