Discovery Channel receives backlash for Phelps vs Shark race

Mar 2012
60,010
41,460
New Hampshire
Today people are screaming FAKE NEWS! lol

In an odd battle of man-versus-wild, Michael Phelps was going to swim a 100-meter race against a great white shark during Sunday night's "Shark Week" kickoff. At least that's what fans were expecting.

Of course, the Olympian was never going to risk damaging his gold medal-winning physique for a Discovery Channel-sponsored race with a shark. But the event's lead-up, which the network billed as "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," had viewers convinced otherwise. Much to viewers' dismay, Phelps swam the "race" solo, time-trial style. His great white competitor was actually a CGI version of a shark, which supposedly imitated what would have been a real-life shark's speed.

Some viewers noted the program's convenient use of simulated imaging, which suggested that humans and sharks swim at comparable speeds. In reality, even a seemingly herculean swimmer like Phelps can't swim more than 6 mph, compared with the great white's 26 mph.

Let's just say that many "Shark Week" aficionados were less than enthused.

Michael Phelps raced that shark on TV Sunday night. Well, sort of - LA Times
 

HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
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63,980
CA
Today people are screaming FAKE NEWS! lol

In an odd battle of man-versus-wild, Michael Phelps was going to swim a 100-meter race against a great white shark during Sunday night's "Shark Week" kickoff. At least that's what fans were expecting.

Of course, the Olympian was never going to risk damaging his gold medal-winning physique for a Discovery Channel-sponsored race with a shark. But the event's lead-up, which the network billed as "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," had viewers convinced otherwise. Much to viewers' dismay, Phelps swam the "race" solo, time-trial style. His great white competitor was actually a CGI version of a shark, which supposedly imitated what would have been a real-life shark's speed.

Some viewers noted the program's convenient use of simulated imaging, which suggested that humans and sharks swim at comparable speeds. In reality, even a seemingly herculean swimmer like Phelps can't swim more than 6 mph, compared with the great white's 26 mph.

Let's just say that many "Shark Week" aficionados were less than enthused.

Michael Phelps raced that shark on TV Sunday night. Well, sort of - LA Times
Really some people thought he was going to swim along side with a shark??? Woah..

Admit though that the CGI shark sounds kind of hokey...
 
Mar 2012
60,010
41,460
New Hampshire
Really some people thought he was going to swim along side with a shark??? Woah..

Admit though that the CGI shark sounds kind of hokey...
Discovery is getting tons of hate mail today over it. They did think he was swimming next to the shark. I think they figured Phelps would be in a tank or something but it would be impossible to get the shark to swim on command. Peeved people. One even tweeted "Discovery promotes fake news like CNN." Got to love it..
 

HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
72,654
63,980
CA
Discovery is getting tons of hate mail today over it. They did think he was swimming next to the shark. I think they figured Phelps would be in a tank or something but it would be impossible to get the shark to swim on command. Peeved people. One even tweeted "Discovery promotes fake news like CNN." Got to love it..
Some people are just really stupid I guess.

I hope the people at Discovery are laughing along side with me.
 
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Mar 2012
60,010
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New Hampshire
Some people are just really stupid I guess.

I hope the people at Discovery are laughing along side with me.
I would bet they hope people still tune into the rest of Shark Week as its usually their highest rated week. Ending next weekend with Sharknado 5. lol
 
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Look what happens when the Discovery Channel figures out a way to get republicans to watch something other than Fox news.
 

HayJenn

Former Staff
Jul 2014
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CA
I would bet they hope people still tune into the rest of Shark Week as its usually their highest rated week. Ending next weekend with Sharknado 5. lol
I get that people are interested in sharks. They are pretty damn cool - but to think a human is going to race one side by side?

I love the Sharknado movies - so campy and over the top...:)
 
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Nicnam

Former Staff
Dec 2013
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I heard about it but wasn't interested in watching - however...

Discovery over sold their hand a tiny bit in their advertising.
 
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May 2012
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By the wall
I get that people are interested in sharks. They are pretty damn cool - but to think a human is going to race one side by side?

I love the Sharknado movies - so campy and over the top...:)
Not much of a race.

I've swam along side a few sharks while diving and its not a contest.

My first time I was surfing and glanced over and there is a shark in the wave right next to me and I swear it was watching me.

Just surfing along.

It was something similar to this.

 
Last edited:

boontito

Future Staff
Jan 2008
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Not much of a race.

I've swam along side a few sharks while diving and its not a contest.

My first time I was surfing and glanced over and there is a shark in the wave right next to me and I swear it was watching me.

Just surfing along.

It was something similar to this.

 
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