Tags: michael phelps | shark | race | discovery

Phelps Splashes Back at Discovery Shark Race Critics

Phelps Splashes Back at Discovery Shark Race Critics

American swimmer and Olympic gold medalist Michael Phelps testifies during a hearing before the Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce Committee February 28, 2017. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

By    |   Wednesday, 26 July 2017 09:01 AM

Michael Phelps splashed back at his Discovery shark race critics during a Facebook Live session Tuesday, saying it was never possible to swim side-by-side with great white shark.

Phelps and Discovery were both hounded by complaints on social media after the "Phelps vs. Shark" program aired Sunday. Some complained that the network duped them, making them believe that the gold medal-winning swimmer would race a real shark. Intead, what they got was the Olympian facing off against a computer-generated shark whose speed was based on scientific research.

USA Today's "For The Win" blog stated that when the question came up in Phelps' Facebook Live session, the record-setting swimmer was ready to defend the show.

"Everybody wants to pick on something or say something or complain about something, so I had fun racing a shark," he said during the Facebook segment at about the 12-minute mark. "And seeing those animals up close and personal. If somebody actually 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, uh, yeah, it would be interesting to see. We'll leave it at that."

Phelps appeared to defend the promotion of the show in response to one Facebook Live participant at the 17:40 mark of the video, according to USA Today.

"Everything was either present on air during multiple interviews that I did throughout Shark Week or the beginning of the show," Phelps said. "Sorry you feel that way. For me, it was something I always wanted to do. I was honored to be able to do it. So, I'm sorry that you feel that way. I feel very different."

Discovery issued its own statement after the show, telling "Entertainment Tonight" on Monday that it never claimed that Phelps would compete side-by-side with an actual great white shark.

"All the promotion, interviews, and the program itself made clear that the challenge wasn't a side-by-side race," Discovery told "Entertainment Tonight."

"In 'Phelps vs. Shark,' we enlisted world-class scientists to take up the challenge of making the world’s greatest swimmer competitive with a great white. The show took smart science and technology to make the challenge more accessible and fun," Discovery continued.

Some, though, continued to complain.

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Michael Phelps splashed back at his Discovery shark race critics during a Facebook Live session Tuesday, saying it was never possible to swim side-by-side with great white shark.
michael phelps, shark, race, discovery
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2017-01-26
Wednesday, 26 July 2017 09:01 AM
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