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Michael Phelps defends Shark Week ‘race’ against great white

FILE - In this July 13, 2017 file photo, retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps arrives at the Kids' Choice Sports Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Phelps lost to a shark in the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week special “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," which aired on July 23, 2017. It was billed as a race between Phelps and the predator but much to the disappointment of some Twitter users, Phelps didn’t actually swim in the water next to the shark.(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) ORG XMIT: PAPM101 (Richard Shotwell / Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
FILE - In this July 13, 2017 file photo, retired Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps arrives at the Kids' Choice Sports Awards at UCLA's Pauley Pavilion in Los Angeles. Phelps lost to a shark in the Discovery Channel’s Shark Week special “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White," which aired on July 23, 2017. It was billed as a race between Phelps and the predator but much to the disappointment of some Twitter users, Phelps didn’t actually swim in the water next to the shark.(Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP, File) ORG XMIT: PAPM101 (Richard Shotwell / Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP)
Associated Press

Don’t expect an apology from Michael Phelps to TV viewers who were disappointed with his race against a simulated great white shark for a Discovery Channel Shark Week special.

The Olympic champion was bested by two seconds Sunday night in “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White.” The race didn’t pit Phelps against a real shark, but rather a computer-simulated fish based on data on the swimming speed of sharks.

Phelps responded to critics in a Facebook Live video Tuesday. He notes that a shark doesn’t swim in a straight line and suggested a side-by-side race with the predator impossible. He later added that he made it clear before the show aired that he wouldn’t be racing a real shark.

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