After his triumphant conquests at the 2012 London Olympics,Michael Phelps signed a deal to appear on the Golf Channel reality series The Haney Project — and reportedly to do open water swimming with Great White Sharks in South Africa.

Eileen O’Neill, group president of Discovery and TLC that owns the wildly successful Shark Week program, told Entertainment Weekly, “We’d love to get the two most powerful water superstars together.”

I’ve always wanted to dive with Great Whites,” Phelps told NBC in an interview about his post-Olympic plans. “Sharks are one of my favorite animals in the world.”

Emmy-winning wildlife cameraman and apex predator expert Andy Casagrande also told Entertainment Weekly, “The dream special would be to do a shark show with Michael Phelps essentially comparing his athletic prowess to that of a Great White Shark. We acclimate him to the sharks from the cage, and then eventually get him to go free-diving with Great Whites. Whether he races one or not, that’s up to insurance to decide. But it’s probably not advised, because as most people know, if you act like prey, they’ll treat you like prey.”

Phelps can learn a lot from David Blaine who knows how to free swim with the apex predator. “You have to stay calm. You can’t allow your heart beat to increase. Just be a peace with the beautiful creatures.” And Blaine proves his ability to stay calm in his latest forays with the Great Whites.

With Michael Phelps venturing in the open water together with fellow Olympic gold medalist Chad Le Clos, even if it is initially within the protective confines of a shark cage in South Africa, the sport of open water swimming is poised once again to continue its exponential growth and global awareness.

While Le Clos is phenomenal in the pool, we know accomplished and experienced open water swimmers like Lewis PughRam Barkai and Theodore Yach can help the world’s most famous butterflyer learn to become comfortable in the waters of South Africa.

Copyright © 2012 by Open Water Source


 

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