Shaquille O'Neal Faces Off Michael Phelps . . . . And Wins (Kind Of!)
On Tuesday, September 13th, a few lucky souls were witness to a historical event - a face-off between basketball star Shaquille O'Neal and 14-time Olympic gold medalist swimmer, Michael Phelps. The sport? swimming of course!
The event held in Maryland at Loyola University's Mangione Aquatic center, was the recording of the grand finale of Shaq Vs. - A reality show that airs on ABC, where Shaq pits himself against top athletes challenging them in their own sport.
The competition on Tuesday involved three races. The first event was a freestyle race where Shaq had to swim 25 yards, while Phelps took on 50 yards, with a five second head start. To everybody's surprise, the basketball champ managed to win that one!
The second race involved a 200m medley (50 yards of four different strokes). Once again Shaq had the upper hand - a team, comprising of himself and three of the best female US swimmers. After swimming the anchor freestyle leg, he let his professional team members do the rest.
Phelps on the other hand, was a team of one - swimming all four strokes on his own. However, that didn't seem to matter. Gliding effortlessly across the pool, the champion won the race fair and square.
The final race was yet another freestyle swim between the two - where Shaq got away with swimming only 50 yards, while Phelps had to swim an extra 25 yards. However, just like the previous race, it didn't really matter - Shaq still lost.
According to the rules of the show, the loser has to pay a penalty. In this case it involved Shaq donning a pink swim cap, complete with flower and all, and performing with a group of synchronized swimmers. Lucky for him that wasn't a competition - for he would have definitely lost that one too!