the weight of gold trailer

HBO Sports has a new doc called The Weight of Gold, and it covers a topic you don’t often see brought-up in regards to sports: mental health. Specifically, it focuses on the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes face, and includes interviews with Michael PhelpsJeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, and more. Watch The Weight of Gold trailer below.

The Weight of Gold Trailer 

There’s a huge misconception in this country about depression, and mental health in general. So many people seem to think of depression as little more than someone being sad, and more often than not, outsiders assume that that sadness can simply be shrugged off, or easily overcome. But that’s not how it works. Take Michael Phelps, for instance. The Olympic swimmer is the most successful and most decorated Olympian of all time, so – if you had no idea how mental health really works – you might think such great achievements would be enough to make him a very happy man. But Phelps went on record in 2018 and announced he suffered from depression, revealing that he even contemplated suicide following the 2012 Olympics.

Now there’s a new documentary about the mental health challenges athletes like Phelps face. It’s called The Weight of Gold, and it’s premiering this month. Here’s a synopsis:

In a typical year, more than 3.6 billion people around the world tune in to watch the Olympic Games. What most of these viewers don’t know is that just like one in five Americans, many of these Olympic athletes similarly face serious mental health challenges and struggle to find the necessary support and resources. In THE WEIGHT OF GOLD, Michael Phelps, the most decorated Olympic athlete of all-time, shares his account of his struggle, along with other high-profile Olympic athletes including Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson as shared by his mother, Linda Peterson.

“I believe I have experienced a state of depression after every Olympics I competed in,” said Phelps. “For a long time, I only saw myself as a swimmer, not a person. When I walked off the podium in Rio, I knew many of my teammates and competitors were not aware of, or prepared for – the post-Olympic transition. In sharing our stories, it is my hope that we can encourage others to open up, let them know they are not alone and that it’s ok to not be ok. For me, the opportunity to help break the stigma surrounding mental health and potentially save a life is way more meaningful than any Olympic medal.”

Peter Nelson, Executive Vice President of HBO Sports, added: “As we all cope during this time of anxiety, Michael Phelps and the Olympic athletes of this film are courageously leading a movement for greater mental health awareness, giving a vulnerable look into the emotional costs of exceptional athleticism. When Podium Pictures and Octagon brought us this project, we quickly recognized its power along with the relatability of its theme for so many.”

The Weight of Gold will premiere on HBO and stream on HBO Max on July 29.

 

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