Michael Phelps to Race Great White for Shark Week

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The showdown will be part of Discovery Channel's annual summer celebration.

Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete in history, will take on a new opponent in the water: a Great White shark. 

As part of its annual Shark Week, Discovery Channel announced that the 23-time Olympic gold medal winner will swim in competition against one of nature's deadliest, and quickest, marine predators. 

As if the announcement itself weren't enough to get viewers excited, Discovery's statement bills the aquatic showdown as a must-see event: "They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks. He is our greatest champion to ever get in the water: Michael Phelps. 39 world records. 23 Olympic golds. But he has one competition left to win. An event so monumental no one has ever attempted it before. The world’s most decorated athlete takes on the ocean’s most efficient predator: Phelps v. Shark — the race is on!"

For those wondering, Great Whites clock in at an impressive 25 mph in open water while Phelps, one of the most elite athletes on the planet, averages between 5.25-6 mph. That's a lot of ground (or water) for the Olympian to make up. Phelps currently holds the individual world record in the 100 meter and 200 meter butterfly. No word has been released on what stroke the swimmer will use in his battle against the shark.

Shark Week begins July 23 on Discovery Channel. 

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