Michael Phelps beat almost everyone on his way to becoming the most decorated Olympic athlete of all time. He didn’t beat everything, though. This Sunday, July 23rd, Phelps will take on the most ferocious competitor in the history of swimming: Carcharodon carcharias, aka, the great white shark.
The 100-meter sprint, which will air on Discovery at 8pm, seems like a mismatch. Great whites can achieve speeds of 25mph or more; Phelps has hit around 6mph, which obviously served him well on his way to 23 gold medals, but is nonetheless 19mph less than 25. The race might be tighter than you think, though. Phelps will wear a monofin, potentially pushing his max speed up to 12mph. He’ll also be motivated, not just by fear of losing -- which seems relatively trivial in this context -- but by fear of his own mortality in the face of nature’s perfect predator.