Michael Phelps vs. great white shark: who’s G.O.A.T. now?

Kids’ Choice Sports Awards 2017
Last night was the big showdown between Michael Phelps and his challenger, Bruce, the great white shark (yes, all Great Whites are named Bruce). I wonder what negotiations for Bruce were like on this deal, “Listen Bruce – can I call you Bruce? Here’s how I see this going down: You are in lane one… “ and then Bruce eats the studio exec. Michael hyped the hell out of this. Discovery claimed that Phelps went to South Africa to practice swimming in open water. Uhm, *pointing out my window* we have a perfectly good GWS-infested ocean right there, Mike. He also trained with a mono-fin flipper to build up speed. We already know he went in a cage to meet his opponent and study him or her up close. I’ll bet Michael gave his signature stankface to psych Bruce out. Bruce was like, “whatever, dude – you’re lunch.” So the time came, I had my Shark Week-themed snacks and cocktail and watched from the edge of my seat.

Michael and his team went into GWS territory and pulled out every mechanical trick in their bag to clock a GWS in action. Seriously, it was like if Jacques Cousteau moonlighted as Q from James Bond. The catch was sharks tend not to swim in straight lines, which is what they needed for a “fair race”. They achieved this by sacrificing countless faux seals to make Bruce give chase. Once they got a time for Bruce, they put Michael in the fanciest wetsuit you’ve ever seen and his own simulated fin and threw him in the water. And then Bruce ate him. No, that didn’t happen. Michael jumped in apparently freezing water with, as he mentioned many times post race, a very thin wetsuit, and swam his hardest. The results? Total annihilation – Bruce had 2 full seconds on him. Like, Bruce was out of the water signing autographs by the time Michael decided to show up at the finish line. And although Michael is an amazing athlete, he is no actor. He was pissed, despite trying to be gracious.

So, the big question was finally answered. No, Michael could not beat a shark – we all knew that answer – but was he actually racing a shark? Obviously, the answer was no. He did jump into those same waters where Bruce had just been eviscerating million dollar “seals” but he swam him race solo. To Discovery’s credit, they simulated racing lanes and Bruce next to Michael and when Bruce first “swam” into his lane, it got me for a sec. However, Twitter was not pleased:

Seriously, the collective cry of “FOUL” was deafening. Don’t be too upset, Bruce got a Speedos endorsement and the Wheaties contract. And Boomer still has an un-truncated dad. It’s a win for all… except Michael who swears to God if it wasn’t so cold he could’ve smoked Bruce. I smell rematch!

Photo credit: Twitter, WENN Photos and Getty Images

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25 Responses to “Michael Phelps vs. great white shark: who’s G.O.A.T. now?”

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  1. IlsaLund says:

    Yeah…folks got played on this one…lol.

    That photo of Phelp’s back while swimming is amazing. Who knew the back had so many muscles?

    • Esmom says:

      It is a crazy shot of his back. He looks like an anatomical model.

      Twitter as usual was priceless. The Lochte one made me laugh out loud.

    • Rachel says:

      That photo… holy s***. My body temp just shot through the roof.

  2. Alix says:

    And the shark will always be smarter.

  3. Sixer says:

    Whattheeverlovingswearword?! I now have irrefutable evidence that civilisation is crumbling around me. Lord save me from television executives.

  4. Emma33 says:

    This is bonkers, but I am pretty impressed that he came within 2 seconds! Love the hammerhead comment.

  5. Radley says:

    Why Shark Week? And much did you pay Phelps for this?

    Not quite as dumb as that time Fonzie jumped a shark while wearing a leather jacket, but close.

  6. Plibersek says:

    Reminds me of the time the Fonz jumped the shark.

  7. Karen says:

    Im surprised people were surprised. Like theyd actually swim side by side.

    They did this before with cat week: cheetah vs runner and they were on opposite sides of a wall. Because they’d obviously have to be. Wild animals are unpredictable.

    • PrincessMe says:


    • Tiffany says:

      From watching it from the beginning, I knew. What upset me was the technical upgrades that Michael was given to even come close to time with the great white. He would not have it in competition against humans, why against the great white.

  8. Tiffany says:

    The fake shark. Always the fake shark.

  9. CityGirl says:

    That overhead butterfly shot though….

  10. Annetommy says:

    Michael travels about six miles per hour. The fastest fish – the sailfish – tops 60 mph. But it isn’t sailfish week and jaws is scarier…PS Thorpedo for eva!

  11. KBeth says:

    Is Phelps hurting for money or something? Why did he agree to this nonsense?

    • Tiffany says:

      Personally, attention and ego. He really believed he could beat a damn great white shark.

  12. Dolkite says:

    The shark was named “Bruce” after the shark in the first Jaws film, which was named after Bruce Ramer, Steven Spielberg’s lawyer.

  13. Escaped Convent says:

    Whatever the silly shark race did, Hecate made it hilarious. Thank you for the chuckles!

    Also, I have a request: can someone make up some reason to show some pics of the Boomer Baby? 👶

  14. T.Fanty says:

    This whole story is my happy place today. I can’t believe that someone came up with this for an idea, I can’t believe Phelps had nothing better to do, and I can’t believe people thought he would actually be swimming alongside a shark.

    I wonder if those people who are disappointed are the 7% of the population who believe that chocolate milk comes from brown cows.

  15. Hazel says:

    That was such a fun read! Thank you, Hecate!