Michael Phelps details Shark Week race, hammerhead encounter

0 Comments

Michael Phelps “raced” a great white shark over about 100 meters in open water, but human and fish were not side by side, according to reports.

Phelps interviews published Tuesday provided a glimpse into his taped appearances on Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” on July 23 and July 30.

The July 23 show is called “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White,” by the network.

Phelps wore a special wetsuit and a monofin attached below his feet for the “race.”

“That helped me make the race a little bit closer,” Phelps said, according to Time magazine, adding to Entertainment Weekly, “We were very safe. We had about 15 safety divers around.”

None of three Tuesday reports detailed how close Phelps got to the great white in open water, or which swimmer won.

Phelps’ fastest race speed in the pool while winning 28 Olympic medals was about five or six miles per hour, he reportedly said, and was told sharks casually swim around six mph (and much faster when attacking/hunting). The monofin helped Phelps reach eight to 12 mph, according to USA Today.

In Phelps’ second Shark Week appearance on July 30, he reportedly said he was within a foot of a hammerhead shark.

“I had the opportunity to lie on the ocean floor and have a massive, massive hammerhead swim within a foot of my face,” Phelps said, according to USA Today. “I was so calm during that. I was on a speaker, and there were a couple of expletives that came out my mouth because I was more excited [than worried].”

OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!

MORE: Phelps against adding Olympic swim events

Michael Phelps
Discovery Channel