The Weight of Gold (2020)

Introduction

The widespread mental health issues among Olympic athletes are examined in this documentary.

Outline

The Weight of Gold is an HBO Sports documentary exploring the mental health challenges that Olympic athletes often face.

The film comes during a time when the COVID-19 pandemic has postponed the 2020 Tokyo Games – the first such postponement in Olympic history – and greatly exacerbated mental health issues.

The film 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, Apolo Ohno, Shaun White, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Katie Uhlaender, Bode Miller, David Boudia, Jeremy Bloom, Sasha Cohen, and, posthumously, Steven Holcomb and Jeret “Speedy” Peterson (via his mother, Linda Peterson).

Production & Filming Details

  • Director(s): Brett Rapkin.
  • Producer(s):
    • Jeremy Bloom … executive producer.
    • Peter Carlisle … executive producer.
    • Michael O. Lynch … executive producer.
    • Scott Martin … producer.
    • Peter Nelson … executive producer.
    • Michael Phelps … executive producer.
    • Brett Rapkin … executive producer.
    • Jack Sheehan … producer.
    • Michael Thomas Slifkin … producer.
    • Amber Theoharis … executive producer.
    • Ellyn Vander Wyden … producer.
    • Bentley Weiner … executive producer.
  • Writer(s): Aaron Cohen and Brett Rapkin.
  • Music: Simon Taufique.
  • Cinematography: Steven Dieveney, Dan Marks, James Pilott, and John Rasmussen.
  • Editor(s):
  • Production: Podium Pictures.
  • Distributor(s): HBO Max and HBO.
  • Release Date: 29 July 2020.
  • Running Time: 60 minutes.
  • Rating: TV-14.
  • Country: US.
  • Language: English.

Video Link

A Statement on the Mental Health Issues and Psychological Factors in Athletes

Research Paper Title

Mental Health Issues and Psychological Factors in Athletes: Detection, Management, Effect on Performance and Prevention: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement-Executive Summary.

Background

The American Medical Society for Sports Medicine convened a panel of experts to provide an evidence-based, best practices document to assist sports medicine physicians and other members of the athletic care network with the detection, treatment and prevention of mental health issues in competitive athletes.

This statement discusses how members of the sports medicine team, including team physicians, athletic trainers and mental health providers, work together in providing comprehensive psychological care to athletes.

It specifically addresses psychological factors in athletes including personality issues and the psychological response to injury and illness.

The statement also examines the athletic culture and environmental factors that commonly impact mental health, including sexuality and gender issues, hazing, bullying, sexual misconduct and transition from sport.

Specific mental health disorders in athletes, such as eating disorders/disordered eating, depression and suicide, anxiety and stress, overtraining, sleep disorders and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, are reviewed with a focus on detection, management, the effect on performance and prevention.

This document uses the Strength of Recommendation Taxonomy to grade level of evidence.

Reference

Chang, C., Putukian, M., Aerni, G., Diamond, A., Hong, G., Ingram, Y., Reardon, C.L. & Wolanin, A. (2020) Mental Health Issues and Psychological Factors in Athletes: Detection, Management, Effect on Performance and Prevention: American Medical Society for Sports Medicine Position Statement-Executive Summary. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 54(4), pp.216-220. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101583. Epub 2019 Dec 6.