Shaq is looking to get in shape for the next NBA
season by getting in shape to compete against
athletes the likes of Michael Phelps, Serena
Williams and Oscar de la Hoya. AP Photo/John Raoux
Whoa! The news of Shaquille O'Neal getting in training shape to swim against Michael Phelps, play tennis against Serena Williams and box against Oscar de la Hoya has hit the web. (Spanish summary below - Resumen español abajo)
Just in case you thought the current emphasis on cross-training fitness by star athletes was a mere fad, the upcoming show could well be a fitness feast; with a little good fortune, it's a terrific example of muscle confusion as an important training technique, verses muscle memory as an important competitive edge.
ABC's "Shaq Vs.," is scheduled to debut Tuesday, Aug. 18 at 9 p.m. ET/PT, and pits the Cleveland Cavalier's center against star athletes - in their own court, (or pool, or field, etc).
The list that's out there for current contenders includes Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, St. Louis Cardinals first baseman Albert Pujols, Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, tennis star Serena Williams, beach volleyball pros Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor and boxing legend Oscar de la Hoya.
According to USAToday.com, O'Neal came up with the idea as a fun way to help train for the NBA season and figured sports fans "would really want to see an athlete play another sport." He knew most of the athletes and recruited some of them on Twitter.
Cleveland.com reported that O'Neal will negotiate a handicap with each opponent and train with a coach for one week leading up to the challenge. He received the blessing of Cavaliers management to participate in the show.
"He's addressing a question we think is one you've heard on sports radio for decades: What if this great athlete from that sport had a competition against that great athlete from that sport?" said Modi Wiczyk, CEO of the show's production company, Media Rights Capital. "There's an element of wish fulfillment to this."
"These athletes may be on top of their game, but I am up for the challenge," O'Neal said in a news release. "I plan to train hard and win, so look out."
If you liked this article, you might also enjoy these: