Weight of Gold is a sports documentary on HBO Max. It talks about Olympic athletes and how their lives really are. It is hosted by Michael Phelps, but also features other former Olympians such as Gracie Gold and Shaun White.
Being an Olympic athlete seems like such a glamorous job, as what can be better than being an incredible athlete and getting rewarded on the world’s biggest TV stage? However, after you watch Weight of Gold you will see that this type of lifestyle is fleeting; unless you are a basketball player (for the most part), the Olympics is the only time that people ever watch certain athletic events. As popular as Michael Phelps and Usain Bolt were at their peak, how many people actually watch swimming/track events that aren’t the Olympics?
The importance of the Olympics for many sports results in an incredible amount of pressure for athletes to perform during them. Since the Olympics are only every 4 years, many athletes will only have one chance to win a medal, so this puts even more pressure on them. As Phelps details in the show, it is after the Olympics are done that is the hardest for athletes. Even if you are one of the Olympians fortunate enough to win a medal, many athletes experience an almost existential crisis. It makes sense, as you pretty much have to put your entire life on hold to pursue your Olympic dream; once it ends though, you have to decide what to do in the next phase of your life.
This is just a quick summary of what the documentary discusses, but I did find it super informative. I have always thought that being an Olympian/professional athlete would be the coolest thing ever, but this at least shows why even these types of lifestyles can be difficult.
Weight of Gold Recommendation Rating: 3
1: Something worth checking out if you have time
2: Something that is a hit for some people, but not a must for everyone
3: Something worth prioritizing if interested
4: Something worth making time to check out
5: An absolute home run, worth going out of your way for
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