The much hyped race between legendary swimmer Michael Phelps and a Great White Shark was finally held on Sunday night, but it didn’t exactly turn out the way some viewers expected.
The Discovery Channel had been prompting the event for weeks and people were hyped – some even compared the match up to this generation’s moon landings.
— Discovery (@Discovery) July 23, 2017
— The Real Mr. Burns (@MrBurns714) July 23, 2017
— Linda Cantrell (@LBC_5eaux4) July 23, 2017
So you can imagine their disappointment when, after a nearly an hour of pre-race chat, Phelps got in the water, with a hologram.
The contest saw Phelps race the estimated time a Great White could cover 100m in, not actually a flat out contest before man and beast.
Unfortunately, some viewers had taken the title of the show literally and expected him to be getting in the water with a real, live shark and the reaction on Twitter was hilarious.
— Lindsey Barr (@simply_lindsey) July 24, 2017
— Meg Conley (@MegDownSouth) July 24, 2017
— Breyanna Davis (@breyannachenal) July 24, 2017
— Brooke Bond (@brookeashleyyb) July 24, 2017
Me pretending to be ok with Michael Phelps not racing a real shark pic.twitter.com/QnCF98NfBB
— Gabi Palamone (@Yo_Gabi_Gabi__) July 24, 2017
Should I feel silly that I thought Michael Phelps would actually be racing a shark??…in the water with an actual shark
— Alex Holley (@AlexHolleyFOX29) July 24, 2017
— natali ♡ (@tremnatali) July 24, 2017
So you mean to tell me Michael Phelps didn’t even race a real shark? It was just a simulation. I’m mad. More like Shark WEAK! pic.twitter.com/gwIGTe7Y9p
— Frank Costa (@feistyfrank) July 24, 2017
— Michael Pezzetta (@mpezzetta13) July 24, 2017
I know it’s stupid to think michael phelps was actually going to be racing against a real shark but I’m stupid and upset
— Nicole (@nicoleee_adams) July 24, 2017
Speaking after the race Phelps, who wore a special fish-styled suit with a fin for the race, admitted he did better than expected.
“Honestly, the first thought that went through my head when I saw the shark, there’s probably very little chance for me to beat him,” he said after the race. “They swim so fast, it’s almost like a bullet.
“I don’t like taking silver medals but I’ll take one against a Great White,” he added.
His second place was a time of 38.1 seconds, while the Great White came in two seconds quicker at 36.1.
Shark Week is running all week on Discovery, with Phelps making another appearance on Shark School with Michael Phelps.