"We had about 15 safety divers around", he told Entertainment Weekly. For comparison, these victories make Phelps not just the record-holder for the most Olympic gold medals but also the record-holder for the most Olympic medals.
Once fans actually see the race, there may be some who are disappointed.
But others suggested that viewers should have known a shark would never be swimming next to Phelps in the ocean.
"Whether it's in a cage, or just swimming freely in the ocean". "They didn't look that big underwater". Dubbed a "cutting-edge water vehicle prototype" featuring lightweight carbon fiber, the "pontoon bike" was trailed by bait to entice the shark to follow quickly behind as its speed was measured. "I don't like taking silver medals but I'll take one against a Great White", Daily Mail quoted Phelps as saying. It's doubtful a shark would even be interested in racing.
With the odds against him, the 32-year-old Baltimore, Maryland native was equipped with some technology to help him.
Phelps was aided by a monofin for his feet. This isn't uncommon - most movies and even nature documentaries play scary music when a shark swims onto the screen. You can't fault them for going over the top - they probably can't believe they got Phelps to agree to this. This one says, "Nah, I'm not faster than a shark".
The Olympic gold medallist has since called for a rematch - "next time, in warmer waters".
Interviewed by the Discovery Channel afterwards, the shark was not gracious in victory.
This was obviously done because the organizers could not guarantee the fact that the shark would stay its course and not waver from it when it sensed a human swimming right beside it.
One viewer commented on social media that the show would go down as 'one of TV's most hyped flops'. There is something new and exciting this year. Now, you can watch Great Gold vs.
Shark Swarm (July 27, 10 ET/PT): Dr. Tristan Guttridge, a senior scientist at the Bimini Shark Lab in the Bahamas, investigates "shark societies", in which different types of sharks gather around the world.