Michael Phelps has set 39 world records and has won 23 gold medals. He’s widely regarded as the greatest swimmer of all time.
But can he swim faster than a shark?
Discovery Channel announced the lineup for the very popular Shark Week, and Phelps was part of the announcement. The segment, “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White” will air on Sunday, July 23. Phelps will also appear in a segment a week later called “Shark School with Michael Phelps.”
“They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. 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!” the release read.
Sharks cruise at about 5 mph, according to scientist Jennifer Kennedy of thoughtco.com. When they’re attacking, they can swim at about 12 mph.
If Phelps swims against a great white shark like the title of the show implies, great white sharks can swim at speeds up to 25 mph, according to Kennedy.
During Phelps’ fastest swim, he was clocked at 6 mph, according to ESPN.