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Michael Phelps' 'race' vs. a shark sets Shark Week records

Michael Phelps retired from competitive swimming last year with a record 23 Olympic gold medals. His latest swim — if you can call it that — was also record-breaking.

Discovery Channel’s “Phelps vs. Shark: Great Gold vs. Great White,” in which the swimmer lost a race to a computer-generated shark, and angered the internet along the way, averaged more than 5 million total viewers Sunday night, making it the highest-rated Shark Week special ever across key demographics.

The race, which kicked off Shark Week, also was the top live- and on-demand-streaming day on Discovery Go. Overall, Discovery finished as the No. 1 basic-cable network in prime time Sunday night.

Phelps returns to Discovery on Sunday for “Shark School with Michael Phelps,” in which he’ll help Doc Gruber and Tristan Guttridge of the Bimini Shark Lab dispel myths and misconceptions about sharks.

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