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Michael Phelps and Post-Olympic Depression

Michael Phelps is the most decorated Olympian of all time, but what’s left to accomplish after you’ve proved you’re the best in the world? In the 2020 documentary “The Weight of Gold,” Phelps takes a long look at life after the Olympics and how he was not alone in experiencing depression after winning it all.

“The Weight of Gold” features interviews with Olympians who discuss going their entire lives without normal childhoods, without outside skills or interests beyond their sport, without any plans after the Olympics, and whose entire lives have been defined by a rapid, 40-second race. Phelps says, “We’re just so lost. A good 80 percent, maybe more, develop a post-Olympic depression. I thought of myself as just a swimmer, and not a human being, and that’s where I thought, why don’t I just end it all?”

Brett Rapkin directed “The Weight of Gold,” and Phelps is just one subject of the film that also includes interviews with many Olympians including Steve Holcomb (who died from a combination of alcohol and sleeping pills in 2017), and Jeret Peterson (who died by suicide in 2011).


Brian Welk, “Michael Phelps Examines ‘Post-Olympic Depression’ in HBO’s ‘The Weight of Gold,’” The Wrap (7-20-20)

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