Swimming: Phelps takes on 'Shark Week' challenge

Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps congratulating Ayomide Okuleye, 17, and Debora Abera, 11, on May 7, 2017 for being named the District of Columbia's top two youth volunteers for 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Ten students on
Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps congratulating Ayomide Okuleye, 17, and Debora Abera, 11, on May 7, 2017 for being named the District of Columbia's top two youth volunteers for 2017 by the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards. Ten students on May 8 received the highest honour, which included a US$5,000 scholarship.PHOTO: ZACH HARRISON PHOTOGRAPHY, PRUDENTIAL INSURANCE

WASHINGTON (AFP) - Michael Phelps' shark-like instincts powered the American to a record 23 Olympic swimming gold medals, but how would he fare against an actual shark?

That is the question the Discovery Channel television program "Shark Week" wants to answer when Phelps appears in July's season-opening episode "Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White".

"The world's most decorated athlete takes on the ocean's most efficient predator: Phelps V Shark - the race is on!" a Discovery Channel release promises.

The 31-year-old will also appear in the "Shark Week" finale, attending "Shark School" with experts who will enlighten the Olympic great and TV viewers on how to safely dive with sharks, "including how to stay calm when a hammerhead swims two feet above his face".