The Weight Of Gold Reveals A Close Link Between OIympians And Depression
In January of 2018, one of the most celebrated athletes in the history of the Olympic games, Michael Phelps revealed that he had contemplated suicide shortly after he won four gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 Summer Games in London.
“I didn’t want to be in the sport anymore,” he said, according to CNN. “I didn’t want to be alive … You do contemplate suicide.”
Filmmaker Brett Rapkin had been working closely with former U.S. bobsled team captain Steven Holcomb on a short film. Holcomb had taken around 70 sleeping pills and washed them down with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s in 2007. Hence, Rapkin knew that there was a connection between Olympians and depression.
Rapkin decided to work on a documentary called The Weight of Gold which stars athletes like Phelps, Apolo Ohno, Lolo Jones, Shaun White, and Bode Miller where they discuss their issues with mental health.
The documentary has made its debut on HBO.
“I think they didn’t realize how prevalent the issue was among each other,” Rapkin told Inside Hook. “I don’t think it’s something they were encouraged to talk about. I think they needed this platform to talk about it and I’m just grateful we were able to play a small part in providing that.”