In the run-up to his astounding performance at the 2016 Summer Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps talked candidly with ESPN about his struggle with anxiety and depression. In the new trailer for HBO’s The Weight of Gold, Phelps is joined by his fellow Olympians in discussing the mental health toll caused by the immense pressure, social isolation, and decades of training demanded by the world of elite sports.
“None of us had normal childhoods,” explains the swimmer, who says he estimates “a good 80 percent, maybe more” of athletes experience some kind of “post-Olympic depression.” “I thought of myself as just a swimmer, and not a human being,” says Phelps. “That’s where I was like, ‘Why don’t I just end it all?’”
Apolo Ohno, Lolo Jones, Shaun White, Katie Uhlaender, Steve Holcomb, Bode Miller, and Sasha Cohen are just some of the Olympians who also share their stories in the documentary, which debuts on HBO Wednesday, July 29, at 9 p.m.