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article imageMichael Phelps on 'The Weight Of Gold' documentary on HBO

By Markos Papadatos     Jul 14, 2020 in Sports
The forthcoming sports documentary, "The Weight of Gold," narrated by Michael Phelps, will premiere on Wednesday, July 29, at 9 p.m. on HBO. Digital Journal has the scoop.
The highly-anticipated documentary, The Weight of Gold, co-executive produced by Phelps, features Olympic athletes that have battled mental health crisis issues and their personal testimonies; moreover, it sheds light on the postponement of the 2020 Olympic Games and its implications.
Brett Rapkin served as its director, and it was co-written by Rapkin and Aaron Cohen. Rapkin had decided to expand his documentary to cover American Olympians across multiple sports that had participated in both the Winter and Summer Olympic Games.
Phelps believed that he personally experienced a state of depression after every Olympiad that he competed in. For a long time, he acknowledged that he only saw himself as a swimmer, not a person. "When I walked off the podium in Rio de Janeiro, I knew many of my teammates and competitors were not aware of, or prepared for the post-Olympic transition," he said.
"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 okay to not be okay. 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," Phelps elaborated.
Joining Phelps in this documentary are such Olympic athletes as Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Olympic medalists Steven Holcomb (bobsledder) and aerial skier Jeret "Speedy" Peterson (via testimony from his mother, Linda Peterson), where they open up about their personal struggles with mental health.
Affectionately known as "The Baltimore Bullet," Phelps is the most honored Olympian in sports history with a total of 28 medals, 23 of which were gold. Following his retirement from the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, he has devoted his time and energy to serving as an advocate for mental health awareness.
Phelps had partnered with Talkspace and appeared in a film, Angst, where he opened up about his story of being bullied and depressed, which lead to severe anxiety. With Talkspace, he is trying to increase access to professional therapy for the millions that need it.
Many people still do not go to therapy even when they need help. His advice is to "open up", as well as to "talk to your friends, family, and teammates"; moreover, to "work with a professional therapist.”
Earlier this year, as Digital Journal reported, Michael Phelps joined Panasonic at Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
This past December, Phelps invited the global swimming community to join the online platform Phelps Test Team via the MP Brand.
For more information on The Weight of Gold, check out the official HBO website.
RIO: Golden goodbye as Michael Phelps signs off with 23 Gold medals.
RIO: Golden goodbye as Michael Phelps signs off with 23 Gold medals.
© AFP
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