The fifth and final episode of Shaq Vs. saw the four-time champion compete against the most decorated Olympian ever. Isn’t it brave of Shaq to try his hand at swimming, that too challenging Michael Phelps?
A total of three races were planned out, and there was a bet in place. The loser had to do something that the winner decides. Here is how the competition unfolded.
The first race was a freestyle event where Shaquille O’Neal had to swim 25 yards, while his opponent had to cover 50 yards with a five-second head-start. So Shaq had to complete half a lap, while Phelps had to cover 50% more than the 15-time NBA All-Star. They both started at opposite points to ensure that the finish would be on the same end of the pool. Surprisingly, even with a five-second head-start, Phelps could not match up with the big man and lost to him in the first race.
A relay event in swimming generally consists of four athletes completing 100 or 200 meters together. For the second challenge, a 200 medley was called in place. Every 50 yards should contain a different stroke. To Shaq’s advantage, he had three Olympics female swimmers in his team, while Phelps had to cover 200 meters all by himself. Shaq had a long lead when he began, but Phelps effortlessly soared from behind to take the victory. A disappointed Shaq threw his swimming goggles after finding out that he lost by less than 2 seconds.
Race 3: The conclusion
Both athletes were prepared to battle it out in the final race. In a winner takes all contest, Shaq had to cover 50 yards in yet another freestyle race whereas Phelps had to cover 75. The extra 25 yards is the advantage Shaq got. However, it didn’t matter in front of Phelps. He glided through the water to register the victory and earn the honors. But this race seemed to be the most intense one. We almost had a photo finish as Phelps raced back from behind to get the win. Shaq clocked a time of 38.76 compared to Phelps’ winning time of 38.59.