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Michael Phelps defended his much-criticized race against a simulated shark

Wednesday - 26/07/2017 09:44
Phelps wasn’t going to swim next to a great white in open water.
GETTY IMAGES
GETTY IMAGES

Michael Phelps’ much-anticipated race against a great white shark wasn’t against a real-life great white shark. To some, it didn’t matter that both Phelps and Discovery were transparent about the shark simulation, fans wanted to see Phelps swim side-by-side against an 8-foot-long apex predator because that’s the world we live in.

When the show aired, Phelps lost to the digitized great white by two seconds.

Come Tuesday, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist held a Facebook Live session and took questions from fans. The controversial Phelps vs. Shark race predictably came up, and Phelps defended the entire experience.

The first answer comes at the 12-minute mark. Phelps said:

“Everybody wants to pick on something or say something or complain about something, so I had fun racing a shark. And seeing those animals up close and personal. If somebody actually wants to get in the water and race side-by-side with a great white, go ahead. You’re not going to get the shark to swim in a straight line. And, uh, yeah, it would be interesting to see. We’ll leave it at that.”

He continued at the 17:40 mark:

“Scott, you can believe whatever you want. Everything was either present on air during multiple interviews that I did throughout Shark Week or the beginning of the show. Sorry you feel that way. For me, it was something I always wanted to do. I was honored to be able to do it. So, I’m sorry that you feel that way. I feel very different.”

Obviously, Phelps wasn’t going to swim next to a great white in open water. Even putting safety aside, it would have been impossible to get a shark to swim in a straight line. Some viewers suggested that Discovery should have created a 100-meter, side-by-side tank to separate Phelps from the shark, but that wouldn’t have been realistic.

Despite the fan complaints, Phelps would be willing to race a shark again.

(Thanks to The Score for sharing)

Source: USA Today::

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