Michael Phelps, the 23-time Olympic gold medalist, will compete against his most fearsome opponent to date: a great white shark. The race between man and fish, dubbed Great Gold vs. Great White, is part of Discovery Channel’s Shark Week. The race airs July 23rd.
“They are one of the fastest and most efficient predators on the planet: Sharks,” reads the hyperbolic press release. “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 gave viewers a possible preview of the dangerous feat, posting a photo of a great white swimming in clear waters alongside what looks to be a boat. “I was able to do something that I had always wanted to do. Be in a cage and dive with great White sharks,” he captioned the Instagram snapshot.
The Maryland native announced his retirement after last year’s Rio Olympics in August on The Today Show. “Done, done, done – and this time I mean it. I wanted to come back and finish my career how I wanted and this was the cherry on top of the cake.”
At Rio, Phelps took home five gold medals and one silver, making him the most decorated Olympian of all time, with a collection of 28 medals throughout his career.