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Michael Phelps, Olympic Athletes Open Up About Depression in ‘The Weight of Gold’ Trailer

Shaun White, Sasha Cohen and other Olympians examine their struggles with mental health in HBO documentary

Michael Phelps, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen and many other Olympians examine their relationship with “post-Olympic depression” in a new documentary, The Weight of Gold, which released its first trailer on Monday.

The HBO Sports film will debut on HBO and on streaming via HBO Max on Wednesday, July 29th at 9:00 p.m. ET, around when the Summer Olympics were scheduled to take place in Tokyo, Japan, this year — prior to the coronavirus pandemic.

In the trailer, athletes open up about how “40 seconds will dictate our human lives,” before the Olympic Village gates close and they’re sent home, with or without medals, to live on beyond the Games.

“We’re just so lost,” Phelps says. “A good 80%, maybe more, go through some kind of post-Olympic depression.”

The documentary includes interviews with Apolo Ohno, Katie Uhlaender, Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Bode Miller, Gracie Gold, Jonathan Cheever and David Boudia. It also features an archival interview with bobsledder Steven Holcomb, who died from a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills in 2017, and an interview with Linda Peterson, mother to three-time Olympian aerial skier Jeret “Speedy” Peterson, who died by suicide in 2011.

The Weight of Gold is directed by Brett Rapkin, who said: “Making documentaries always provides the opportunity to learn about your subject along the way. Unfortunately, this particular project involved unexpectedly learning about a serious mental health crisis that I was not previously aware of: Post-Olympic depression. The current global health crisis has only brought more urgency to finding ways to reduce the stigma of seeking help and provide excellent mental health resources for not only Olympians but everyone.”