Directed by Brett Rapkin and executive-produced by Michael Phelps, The Weight of Gold takes a sobering look at the lives of Olympic athletes after their careers are over. It premieres Wednesday, July 29, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on HBO.
If you don’t have cable, here’s how to watch The Weight of Gold on your computer, phone, Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV or other streaming device:
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If you’re an Amazon Prime subscriber or you want to start a free 30-day trial of Amazon Prime, you can watch all live and on-demand HBO content via the HBO Amazon Channel, which comes with a seven-day free trial:
Once you’re signed up for both Amazon Prime and the HBO channel, you can then watch The Weight of Gold either live as it airs or on-demand anytime after.
For either option, you can watch on your computer via the Amazon website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone compatible), tablet, Roku, Amazon Fire TV, Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 or other streaming device via the Amazon Video app.
Whether you already have Hulu or you want to sign up for a new subscription, HBO is available as an add-on to either Hulu or Hulu with Live TV. If you’re a new subscriber, you can start a free 30-day trial of regular Hulu plus the HBO add-on:
Once signed up for Hulu and the HBO add-on, you can watch The Weight of Gold live as it airs, or you can watch it on-demand anytime after.
You can watch on your computer via the Hulu website, or on your phone (Android and iPhone supported), tablet, Roku, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Chromecast, Xbox One, PlayStation 4 (on-demand only), Nintendo Switch, Echo Show or other streaming device via the Hulu app.
‘The Weight of Gold’ Preview
An hour-long documentary featuring interviews with nearly a dozen former Olympians, The Weight of Gold promises to be an eye-opener for those unfamiliar with the depression and anxiety issues that face the majority of Olympic athletes when their respective careers are over.
According to HBO’s website, “The Weight of Gold seeks to inspire discussion about mental health issues, encourage people to seek help, and highlight the need for readily available support. It features accounts from Olympic athletes who share their own struggles with mental health issues, including Michael Phelps, Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (via his mother, Linda Peterson).”
Phelps is a huge presence in the documentary; he produces, narrates and shares some of his own personal and sobering experiences with what the film refers to as ‘post-Olympic depression.’
“A good 80 percent, maybe more, go through some kind of post-Olympic depression,” Phelps says about Olympic athletes in the film’s trailer, noting that swimming had been so all-consuming, he almost lost himself. “I thought of myself as a swimmer, and not as a human being,” he says in the film.
Phelps discusses battling depression and suicidal thoughts after his career was over, and he’s not alone in the world of Olympic athletes who struggled once their gold medal-laden dreams were a thing of the past.
Freestyle skier Jeremy Bloom and skater Apollo Anton Ohno were among several in the film who shared eye-opening descriptions of life after competing in the Olympics. Ohno pointed out the lack of options and support system in place for former Olympians once their sporting careers have ended. “There’s no pension, no bonus, no stock options,” Ohno says.
Phelps, who won 28 individual and team medals — 23 of which are golds — is the most decorated American Olympian in history; thus, his voice carries a great deal of weight here.
Rapkin also shared how the current coronavirus pandemic has put a big spotlight on this particular issue for many Olympians and their loved ones.
“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,” the film’s director said.
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