SPOKANE, WA- One in eight people in the state of Washington suffer from mental health issues and a new documentary The Weight of Gold, by Michael Phelps, is aiming to help destigmatize mental health challenges that Olympic athletes endure.
The Weight of Gold brought together multiple Olympic athletes, one being U.S Olympic Bronze Medalist Gracie Gold.
Gold has been a powerhouse in the sport of figure skating for the last decade. She has performed in Spokane many times, and most notably in the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Recently, Gold has opened up about her struggles, with mental health even removing herself from eligibility for the 2018 Winter Olympics.
She said being a part of the documentary was healing for her and helped her in her recovery.
“The sense of community that came with hearing everyone else’s story, it’s really easy to feel like am I like the only one that’s like this,” Gold said, “am I the only Olympian that’s that has all the success but is also super depressed, and I have that feeling that, I’m not alone... was really powerful.”
Gold explained that she was only a few months out of treatment when she participated in the filming of the documentary.
Only recently she started competing again. She hopes that other athletes and just people, in general, can pull from her story and use it as a guide to move forward.
“I would tell my younger self, I wouldn't wish my younger self to not go through some of the obstacles she did because there's a lot of growth there, …but there’s also a lot of pain and a lot of hurts,” Gold said, “and overcoming those obstacles can take you places.”
Gold says there’s no start and finish line when it comes to mental health it’s just making the first step and trusting in your instinct that you need help.
For Gold, she says part of her healing has been realizing she has more to offer the world than skating and winning competitions.
“I feel like I can take up more space in the world,.. just for being who I am,” Gold said regarding this last year and her posttreatment life.
The Weight of Gold is out now on HBO and feature stories from skier Bode Miller, swimmer Michael Phelps, and snowboarder Shaun White, along with several more.