Look, nobody wants Phelps to get eaten by a great white shark on television. At least, I personally wouldn’t find it entertaining. But, the Discovery Channel has been hyping us for more than a month, and nobody ever said it was going to be a fake shark!
Apparently, the great white shark was as real as it could be without the wanting to eat Phelps bit. It was “time-based on the speed of its real-life counterparts through the water.” So the speed was there, alright.
In fact, Phelps had to be armed with a special suit. Not as protection from the shark (boo) but “because humans struggle to reach speeds of more than 5.5mph in the water, while sharks can easily reach 25mph.” Accordingly, it was a way of giving the swimmer a little help.
The suit and the fin helped him to finish the race in 38.1. However, the "shark' beat him as it was two seconds faster. Phelps talked about the experience, saying, “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.”
Yeh, yeh, whatever, but if there’s a rematch, don’t spare the bloody shark. Or, if it’s going to be computer-generated again, don’t call the show: ‘Phelps v Shark: Great Old vs Great White.’ Do you know how high our expectations were?
People who wouldn’t think of watching anything on the Discovery Channel — God forbid they should learn something — decided to tune in! By people, I mean me. But, damn it, I’m sure there were others like me! Just look at what people had to say on Twitter.
13. People Are Already Writing Strongly Worded Letters To Discovery
“I honestly feel so robbed that I just watched an hour of a stupid show to see Michael Phelps race a FAKE shark. #fakenews,” wrote one viewer on Twitter. “Waited an hour for Michael Phelps to race a CGI shark. Discovery is receiving a strongly worded letter for sure,” wrote another viewer.
The silliest thing about this whole story is how Phelps prepared for the big race. He went diving in a cage and swam with real sharks. He said, “Being able to get in the water with these guys where I’m literally face-to-face with some of the most majestic creatures you’ve ever seen, that was a treat. I was literally within a foot of multiple massive sharks. That, you know, could be scary at times, but for me it was a dream come true.”
15. I Don’t Think I Can Trust The Discovery Channel Again
What could have been more majestic? Hmm…um, racing with a real shark! And if it’s too scary, then don’t "train" for the race by diving with real sharks. I’m sure Discovery Channel could have gotten a computer-generated shark for Phelps to dive with. Harsh? Yes! Don’t mess with us like that ever again, Discovery!