Directed by Brett Rapkin and executive-produced by Michael Phelps, The Weight of Gold takes a sobering have a look at the lives of Olympic athletes after their careers are over. It premieres Wednesday, July 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
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‘The Weight of Gold’ Preview
An hour-long documentary that includes interviews with practically a dozen former Olympians, The Weight of Gold guarantees to be an eye-opener for these unfamiliar with the despair and anxiousness points that face the vast majority of Olympic athletes when their respective careers are over.
In line with HBO’s web site, “The Weight of Gold seeks to encourage dialogue about psychological well being points, encourage individuals to hunt assist, and spotlight the necessity for available assist. It options accounts from Olympic athletes who share their very own struggles with psychological well being points, together with Michael Phelps, Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (by way of his mom, Linda Peterson).”
Phelps is a big presence within the documentary; he produces, narrates and shares a few of his personal private and sobering experiences with what the movie refers to as ‘post-Olympic despair.’
“A superb 80 p.c, perhaps extra, undergo some sort of post-Olympic despair,” Phelps says about Olympic athletes within the movie’s trailer, noting that swimming had been so all-consuming, he virtually misplaced himself. “I considered myself as a swimmer, and never as a human being,” he says within the movie.
Phelps discusses battling despair and suicidal ideas after his profession was over, and he’s not alone on the earth of Olympic athletes who struggled as soon as their gold medal-laden goals have been a factor of the previous.
Freestyle skier Jeremy Bloom and skater Apollo Anton Ohno have been amongst a number of within the movie who shared eye-opening descriptions of life after competing within the Olympics. Ohno identified the shortage of choices and assist system in place for former Olympians as soon as their sporting careers have ended. “There’s no pension, no bonus, no inventory choices,” Ohno says.
Phelps, who gained 28 particular person and staff medals — 23 of that are golds — is probably the most adorned American Olympian in historical past; thus, his voice carries an excessive amount of weight right here.
Rapkin additionally shared how the present coronavirus pandemic has put a giant highlight on this explicit difficulty for a lot of Olympians and their family members.
“Sadly, this explicit challenge concerned unexpectedly studying a few critical psychological well being disaster that I used to be not beforehand conscious of: Publish-Olympic despair. The present international well being disaster has solely introduced extra urgency to discovering methods to cut back the stigma of searching for assist and supply glorious psychological well being assets for not solely Olympians however everybody,” the movie’s director mentioned.