Shark Week 2017 has officially begun as Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps tries to outswim a great white shark in Discovery Channel’s highly promoted “man versus shark” race.
There was so much hype about Discovery’s Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White that launched this year’s Shark Week because the most decorated of all time Olympian is taking on a sea creature that can swim as fast as 35 miles per hour.
According to Vox, the 32-year-old, 23-time Olympic gold medalist did “as well as expected” during the event where the great white shark emerged victorious.
Regurgitating the news, Bleacher Report revealed that the race between Phelps and the shark marked the beginning of Shark Week 2017 on Sunday.
But while the competition received so much attention online, it was far from the Olympic swimming race where Phelps is known for as the outlet dubbed it as a “made-for-television race.”
On top of that, the Olympian was even allowed to use wetsuits and fake shark-like fins that Discovery scientists claim will likely improve his swimming prowess as he goes against one of the fastest creatures of the ocean.
But while the 32-year-old competitive swimmer did not win the race, Bleacher Report and Vox both noted that the competition achieved its purpose as the kickoff event for Shark Week 2017 simply because of the palpable excitement it caused on social media.
In fact, it even became one of Twitter’s top trending topics on Sunday as Phelps even posted about wanting a rematch with the great white on the microblogging platform.
Of course, there are still those who made use of Shark Week 2017 to make social media blogging more fun and colorful.
Others expressed their disappointment that the renowned Olympian did not really race with a real Great White Shark.
There are also those who noted that Phelps should have gone against the fastest swimming shark, which is not the great white.
Even so, the so-called “the battle for ocean supremacy” ultimately got the attention it wanted by roping in the Olympian simply because the network did not reveal one pertinent detail about the race: Michael Phelps won’t actually be swimming with a real shark because of the apparent danger it posed.
Shark Week 2017 will continue through Sunday, July 30, as Discovery features more shark-related events like a shark-crocodile showdown and many others.
[Featured Image by Clive Rose/Getty Images]