It seems winning 23 gold medals just wasn’t enough for Towson native Michael Phelps. The all-time great Olympian swimmer is reportedly jumping back in the water for Shark Week this summer.
Phelps’ role during the Discovery Channel’s biggest annual TV event will apparently involve sharks, though he won’t be asked to race one. Per Adweek, Discovery president and CEO David Zaslav said mysteriously at a press event today that Phelps will be “aligning with the sharks” and will help launch Shark Week on its first night, July 23. He didn’t disclose further details, except to say, “We’re going to kick it off with Michael and the sharks,” which sounds like a riveting summertime sitcom.
This will be the 29th Shark Week. The cable event capitalizes on the raw power and versatility of the water-bound creatures. It also shows humans doing absurd things like climbing into cages and surrounding themselves by sharks or innovative ones like engineering robots to resurrect ancient shark behemoths.
Past celebrity hosts have included Craig Ferguson in 2010, Andy Samberg in 2011 and YouTuber Philip DeFranco in 2012. Horror film producer and director Eli Roth hosted the last couple years. Today’s announcement didn’t reveal who’s hosting Shark Week 2017.
Last we heard of Phelps, he was testifying before Congress about doping in international sports. The rest of his year since he finished the Olympics has been more restful, with ad deals for free mattresses, multiple weddings to Nicole Phelps and tech investment plans. It was only a matter of time before the Baltimore Bullet got restless for the open water.