Later this month the most decorated Olympian of all time, Michael Phelps, will race a great white shark. Yes you read that correctly. Phelps will race the beast during Discovery Channel’s annual shark week, a longstanding tradition that allows viewers to immerse themselves in all things shark around the clock for an entire seven day stretch. The famed Olympian will be racing the great white shark off of the coast of South Africa’s Cape Town. For those of you worried about the health and safety of Michael Phelps fear not. Phelps will be followed closely by a team of divers in case things get a little too close for comfort. Seeing as that the top speed of a shark is almost seven times faster than the top speed of a human, Phelps will have a little help in this battle of the species. What is being called a “monofin” will be utilized in order to increase the power with which Phelps can kick from his already massive feet and propel him through the water much faster than is typically possible by a human. The cross between athletics and nature aims to engage a wider audience than usual for Discovery Channel in a time when more and more people are turning away from traditional cable television. Lifelong fans of Michael Phelps will be rooting against nature enthusiasts who hope to see beast reign supreme in its home turf. No one knows exactly what will happen in this spectacle when man takes on beast. We’ll just have to tune in during shark week to see for ourselves.
Winner of 23 gold medals, Michael Phelps has been dubbed the top male athlete of the year by the United States Sports Academy. This comes after a year in which Phelps won six medals at the Rio 2016 Olympics. The Maryland native has won more medals than anyone else in Olympic history. This is the third time the swimmer has received the award, and he remains the only swimmer ever honored by the Academy.
The USSA determines the winner by taking into consideration the votes cast online by the public each month. Using these votes as a guideline, the Academy chooses an athlete to recognize an athlete of the month. At the end of the year, the athletes on this short list of 12 candidates become eligible for the yearly award. This year, Phelps, Jamaican runner Usain Bolt, and Slovenian ski jumper Peter Prevc were the favorites.
On the women’s side, the Academy gave the award to American gymnast Simone Biles. However, another swimmer, 400m individual medley world record holder Hungarian Katinka Hosszu, ranked just behind Biles.
The award is only one of many given to Phelps for his performance in the previous year. Among others, he received the USOC SportsMan of the Year Award, the Golden Goggle Male Performance of the Year Award, the Fédération internationale de natation swimmer of the year, and the Swimming World Swimmer of the Year Award (World and American categories). Phelps announced his retirement in 2016.
He’s considered one of the greatest and probably one of few who can really keep a secret. Swimmer Michael Phelps won his 23rd, and presumably final, Olympic gold medal of his career at the Rio Olympics in Brazil last July. Not only that, but we’ve all just learned that the most decorated Olympian in history was already competing as a married man at the summer games.
Phelps had quitely married former Miss California Nicole Johnson weeks earlier in Paradise Valley Arizona, according to the Arizona Republic newspaper. The publication had released the official marriage document on its website, and then TMZ the tabloid let the entire world know about the covert nuptials. TMZ showed a copy of the couple’s marriage license, and suddenly, that was the hottest story around. TMZ claims that the Paradise Valley, Arizona ceremony was officiated by Phelps’ agent, Peter Carlisle. The couple now reside in Paradise valley.
Nicole has not directly commented on social media about being a newlywed, but she did make a hint about the union on the wedding day of June 13th. Then, she posted a photo on Instagram of herself, Phelps and Boomer, with a caption reading: “Such a memorable night with my lil fambam.” The couple’s adorable son Boomer was born on May 5th.
Meantime, Michael Phelps is denying the nuptials on his Facebook page, assuring his many fans, “I’m not married yet.
“I am not telling you the date of the wedding,” Phelps said. “That’s a super secret. You guys will know soon, though.”
He and Nicole are both 31. As far as adding to their adorable brood, Phelps did say this to his fans:
“Baby number two could be coming soon, but who knows, though?”
Stay tuned, swimming fans.