People are not impressed. As CI readers know, the Discovery Channel’s special, Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White, kicked off Shark Week on Sunday and many viewers were disappointed to see Michael swimming against a CGI shark rather than a living one.
After around 40 minutes, Tristan Gutteridge – one of the scientists on the production – talked about what would really happen if they raced each other.
He explained, “Clearly, we can’t put Michael in one lane and a white shark in the far lane.We’re going to have to do a simulation.”
It’s easy to understand that fans were disappointed to see the Olympic gold medalist swim against a CGI shark and not a real live breathing animal.
However, Phelps and the producers over at The Discovery Channel think otherwise.
Michael addressed the backlash in a Facebook Live Q & A yesterday, and he can be heard at length defending his decision to compete against a computer-generated shark.
“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 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 it would be interesting to see. We’ll leave it at that.”
Posted by Michael Phelps on Tuesday, July 25, 2017
While discussing the allegation that the swimmer intentionally misled people for ratings, the Olympic gold-medalist said, “you can believe whatever you want.”
We have to be honest here, the advertisements for the show really did make it seem that he would race against a real shark. However, his point certainly makes sense. There’s no way a trainer could ever get a great white to swim in a straight line. It just doesn’t seem possible.