American Olympic icon Michael Phelps was a special guest on NBC News’ TODAY show, shining a light on his new documentary entitled The Weight of Gold.
The 23-time Olympic gold medalist in swimming narrated and executive produced the film, which explores mental health challenges faced by Olympians across all of sport. Phelps shares his personal struggles he tackled through his prolific career, but fellow Olympians Jeremy Bloom, Lolo Jones, Gracie Gold, Bode Miller, Shaun White, Sasha Cohen, David Boudia, Katie Uhlaender, and others are also featured.
Regarding his quest to bring mental health awareness to the forefront, Phelps told TODAY, “I would like to try and save as many Olympians, or as many lives, as we possibly can.
“A handful of others have lost their lives, and that is something I would like to try and change.”
In addressing his own battles, Phelps said, “There are others that are struggling and struggling very, very hard. It was wild to see that I wasn’t alone, but it also made me feel good because there were other people who could help me understand, it’s okay to not be okay.”
He continued, “It’s difficult to show vulnerability, especially as an athlete, we can’t show that weakness… I know opening up and talking about the struggles that I’ve had has only helped me grow even more.”
Having retired after the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio, Phelps is now a dad to three boys with wife Nicole.
“Having the chance to spend some time with the boys and the family has been a dream come true… I’ve been able to grow through this pandemic and in this quarantine. And I think my wife and I have grown even more… We’ve been able to grow as a couple.”