Michael Phelps is a brave man, that much is for sure! The Olympic swimmer opened up about his experience racing a shark for Shark Week on Good Morning America, on the 20th of July.
Although Phelps retired from competitive swimming following the 2016 games, the man partnered up with the Discovery Channel for the race of 100-meters, which took place in South Africa.
He explained, “This has been something I’ve wanted to do my entire life. It’s been on my bucket list a long time and being able to see these animals up close and personal in their environment is something that was just such a treat.”
When talking about the shark, he remarked, “They didn’t look that big underwater. I guess now seeing the video; they were pretty massive sharks. I had one, like I was saying, literally come right up to my nose, and it was crazy.”
According to Michael, he was more than safe, as there were numerous safety precautions to look out for him on the set, including a team of 14 people who would help get him out of the water if it was needed.
The swimmer was even fitted with a tail-like attachment called a monofin, which allowed him to move through the water like a shark.
Despite his bravery, the athlete still had moments of fear and turmoil.
He revealed his biggest challenge as the wildly different temperature of the ocean water in comparison to the pools in which he usually competes.
The water of the sea was measured at approximately 53 degrees. When talking about the experience, Michael gushed, “For me, it was an experience I’ll never forget. To be able to be on the bottom, basically, of the ocean floor and surrounded by some different species of sharks was one of the coolest things that I’ve probably ever done.”