EXCLUSIVE: Unlike Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte Will Not Be Swimming With Sharks for Nat Geo WILD's SharkFest

By

Jeah?!

Who needs Discovery Channel’s annual Shark Week
when you can watch Nat Geo WILD’s SharkFest? Well, that's Ryan Lochte's thinking, anyway.

The Olympic swimmer -- who is not Michael Phelps and is not going to be racing a great white shark on Discovery -- is dutifully
promoting that other channel’s week-long shark-themed programming. In fact,
that’s all the silver-haired athlete-turned-Dancing With the Stars competitor-turned-dadcompetitor
is doing…

In an exclusive look at Nat Geo WILD’s new promo, Lochte
begrudgingly embraces the “second best” stature that the channel has accepted
for its own shark week, which it says is filled “with first-rate premieres.”

“Besides, No. 1 is a state of mind. Right, Ryan?” the
narrator asks in the clip.

NatGeo

While Lochte is, sadly, not going to be facing off against
any underwater predators in the imagined Lochte vs. Shark, SharkFestdoes
promise to be a week full of thrills thanks to the list of programs
below: 

Shark vs. Predator (July 23): SharkFest
kicks off with a look at the animals that dare to take on sharks. Seals,
crocodiles, octopi, bobcats and even birds have gone head-to-head with these
elite killers, and Nat Geo WILD has uncovered the footage to prove it. Watch rare moments
when a shark ends up on the receiving end of an attack. It’s time for nature’s
ultimate underwater showdown.

Tiger Shark Terror (July 24): Every
diver has been warned that sharks feed at night, but is this a myth or does the
truth lurk somewhere deep beneath the waves? Professional shark diver Eli
Martinez and scientist Matthew Smukall plunge into the nighttime world of Tiger
Beach to investigate whether shark behavior changes once the sun goes down.

Mission Critical: Sharks Under Attack (July
24): 
Geographic underwater photographer and Instagram star Brian
Skerry is on a mission to change the perception of our oceans’ greatest
predators -- sharks. After three decades capturing the world’s oceans on
camera, Skerry knows sharks as kings of the oceans that keep these fragile
ecosystems functioning, not as violent Jaws-like man-eaters.

Shark Swarm (July 25): Across the
vast oceans are underwater oases where sharks congregate in huge numbers. What
is the attraction at these mysterious waypoints? Join shark scientist Riley
Elliott on a unique expedition as he investigates some of the largest and most
mysterious shark gatherings on the planet.

World’s Deadliest: Shark Frenzy (July
26): 
The deep blue sea is a majestic place explored by many, but it
also holds some of the world’s deadliest apex predators … sharks! These savage
killers have one thing in common: the need to feed. In their quest, they use
sheer force, technique and genetics to achieve their ultimate goal.

SharkFest kicks off Sunday, July 23 at 8 p.m. ET/PT.