After a month-long build-up to Discovery Channel’s Shark Week special, many were glued to their television sets to watch the great Michael Phelps – in a special shark-like swimming gear – race a great white shark. No points for guessing really, who won at the end of the hour-long show titled ‘Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White’.
But the biggest irony was this – Phelps didn’t actually race a great white shark in reality, but a computer-generated simulation. A minor fact that was cleverly avoided in all the hype and buil-up to the show. According to reports, it was only around 57 minutes into the show that ecologist Tristan Gutteridge, one the featured scientists. said, “Clearly, we can’t put Michael in one lane and a white shark on the far lane. We’re gonna have to do a simulation.”
So, basically, all the hype was around a simulation and not the real deal?!
Here’s a video of Phelps getting geared up for the ‘event’.
— Shark Week (@SharkWeek) July 23, 2017
Here’s Phelps looking in at the video.
It’s not lookin’ good, Phelps pic.twitter.com/SzuUhzhGiU
— CJ Fogler (@cjzero) July 24, 2017
As expected, viewers didn’t take to the big reveal very kindly and lashed out on Twitter. “i spent 60 minutes of my life watching a build up to michael phelps race a fake computer generated shark. i’m pissed”, posted someone on the microblogging site, while another wrote, “I honestly feel so robbed that I just watched an hour of a stupid show to see Michael Phelps race a FAKE shark. #fakenews”.
I was so disappointed when I found out that Phelps didn’t actually race against a great white ?? #SharkWeek
— Danielle Rae (@dxnirxe) July 24, 2017
Waited an hour for Michael Phelps to race a CGI shark.
Discovery is receiving a strongly worded letter fur sure.
— Jerod Breth (@PhreshBreth) July 24, 2017
Should’ve called it Michael Phelps vs a Computer Generated Simulation. Huge letdown @Discovery
— Jimmy Kozeny (@jkoz19) July 24, 2017
— Lindsey Barr (@simply_lindsey) July 24, 2017
— Joe C. (@HeyJoeC) July 24, 2017
— Breyanna Davis (@breyannachenal) July 24, 2017
— Brooke Bond (@brookeashleyyb) July 24, 2017
— Romell Turner (@RomellTurner) July 24, 2017
— Izzy (@Isabel__Eaton) July 24, 2017
YOU SAID HE WOULD FACE A SHARK, NOT A CGI SHARK
— Cindy (@ESPNCindy) July 24, 2017
phelps racing a fake shark is like when ur teacher says there’s gonna be a sub but shows up the next day
— ????? (@reqnna) July 24, 2017
i spent 60 minutes of my life watching a build up to michael phelps race a fake computer generated shark. i’m pissed
— spo (@spoyourboat) July 24, 2017
Michael Phelps race against a computer generated shark will go down as one of TV’s most hyped flops. #gullibleTVviewers
— PhantomAcct (@phantomacct) July 24, 2017
The broadcast showed Phelps preparing for the race by simulating 50m races against two other varieties of shark. Interestingly, he did beat a reef shark with a time of 18.7 seconds.
MICHAEL PHELPS IS FASTER THAN A REEF SHARK pic.twitter.com/4fPqYYLgBR
— SB Nation GIF (@SBNationGIF) July 24, 2017