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Michael Phelps to ‘Race’ Great White Shark

  • VOA News

FILE - United States' Michael Phelps reacts after the men's 100-meter butterfly final during the swimming competitions at the 2016 Summer Olympics, Friday, Aug. 12, 2016, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Phelps will "race" a shark during Shark Week.

The greatest human swimmer of all time, Olympian Michael Phelps, is diving into his next competition - when he takes on the world’s greatest swimmer in a “race” during Shark Week on the Discovery Channel next month.

Shark Week is a popular event during which the American cable channel airs shark-related content. The annual programming began airing in 1988.

According to the Discovery Channel, the Olympic champion will be getting a “crash course on everything 'shark.'”

“They’ll dispel the myths and common misconceptions, teach him how to safely dive with sharks – including how to stay calm when a hammerhead swims two feet above his face – and will get Michael Phelps up close and personal with the incredible power of a great white,” the company said in a news release.

Phelps retired from competitive swimming in 2016 after the Rio Summer Olympics. During his career, he won 23 Olympic gold medals and held 39 world records.

Still, that will not likely be enough to take on sharks, which can swim about 10 times faster than humans.

“They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks,” Discovery wrote. “He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark – the race is on!”

Discovery wasn’t clear exactly how Phelps, now 32, will take on the great white or what strokes he will use when he is in the water. It’s also unclear how Phelps will avoid ending up as a snack for the fierce predator.

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