Michael Phelps loses ‘race’ to Great White shark (Video)

Michael Phelps loses 'race' to Great White shark (Video)
Michael Phelps loses 'race' to Great White shark (Video)

Michael Phelps has finally been defeated – by a computer-simulated great white shark.

Michael Phelps lost his race against a great white shark to kick off Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” festivities Sunday night, falling by 2 seconds.

The special culminated in 56-degree waters off the coast of South Africa, where Phelps, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist who grew up in Rodgers Forge, donned a 1-millimeter-thick wet suit and a specially designed mono-fin before attempting to outrace a computer-generated, superimposed great white shark 100 meters.

The time to beat was 36.1 seconds, which is 10 seconds faster than the world record in the 100-meter men’s freestyle. (Brazil’s César Cielo didn’t have a wet suit or a mono-fin when he set that mark at the 2009 world championships.)

In a previous race, Phelps swam 50 meters in 18.7 seconds, with the Discovery Channel team comparing his time with those of a hammerhead and a reef shark. While he didn’t beat the hammerhead, which swam the distance in 15.1 seconds, he was able to edge the reef shark by 0.2 of a second.