Michael Phelps's races usually end in cheers, but his most recent one brought a slew of complaints instead.
After the heavily decorated Olympic swimmer signed on to appear in Discovery's annual Shark Week programming earlier this year, the network suggested that he'd be racing a shark. As the week's kickoff on Sunday night drew closer, promos indicated as much as well. However, the race that the show delivered turned out to be different than what many viewers had in mind.
When people realized that Phelps and the shark were not in the water together, they found a common outlet for their disappointment and anger: Twitter. There, many lamented the fact that Shark Week used a simulation. Some didn't care about safety at all, while others argued the network could have found a better way to make the race happen and still kept Phelps out of harm's way.
— Derek Zhou (@_yizi) July 24, 2017
Me when I heard Michael Phelps wasn't racing a real shark... pic.twitter.com/GP8rLHP0jK
— Julio Ricardo (@DanteMenghini) July 24, 2017
ok not that I thought Michael Phelps was gonna race a shark , but I thought Michael Phelps was gonna race a shark
— em ✨ (@emmawende) July 24, 2017
— Ryan Homler (@RHomler) July 24, 2017
I was so excited to see Michael Phelps race a shark when I saw that it was fake after all the hype I was legitimately pissed
— john hall (@johnhall86) July 24, 2017
Can't believe Michael Phelps didn't race a real shark. I feel robbed. Put him in the sea and start the clock #SharkWeek
— Abbie (@Stubbornlove238) July 24, 2017
When you realize Michael phelps didn't ACTUALLY race a shark side by side. pic.twitter.com/X8bR2sLAKD
— slapattack (@wotb_slapattack) July 24, 2017
Watching Michael Phelps "race" the shark was honestly the most disappointing thing that has happened to me in a long time
— Mary Kate Morgan (@marykatemorgan) July 24, 2017
— luiza (@luizarobu) July 24, 2017
Don't tell the entire world that Michael Phelps is going to race a shark if he isn't actually going to do it. #SharkWeek
— Helenke. (@LinksRossouw) July 24, 2017
Since Michael Phelps didn't ACTUALLY race a great white shark, he must fight a great white shark to redeem himself
— Adam Meleo (@Adam_Meleo) July 24, 2017
HOW ARE WE MEANT TO FIGHT FAKE NEWS WHEN MICHAEL PHELPS WON'T EVEN RACE A REAL SHARK #FakeFins
— Sean Defoe (@SeanDefoe) July 24, 2017
Am I the only one who was disappointed Michael Phelps didn't actually race a great white shark
— gracie (@gracielharris_) July 24, 2017
Michael Phelps didn't even race against a real shark last night ????????????
— Esco Flick (@EscoFlick) July 24, 2017
Turns out "Michael Phelps races a shark" was really just "Michael Phelps swims alone and then compares his time to a shark's time."
— Gary Parrish (@GaryParrishCBS) July 24, 2017
Michael Phelps after watching himself race a fake shark is also me after watching Michael Phelps race a fake shark pic.twitter.com/O4PIeCYPRM
— brad esposito (@braddybb) July 24, 2017
Overall, people seemed more concerned with how the race was set up than its outcome. Phelps lost by 2 seconds, even while wearing a special suit and fin, so we'd say that shark deserves a medal.