NEW YORK (AP) — A new documentary about anxiety argues that everyone to some extent suffers from stress, nerves and social fear. And, to make their point, the filmmakers have enlisted as Exhibit A the most decorated Olympian in history.
Michael Phelps appears in “Angst” to share his story of being bullied and depressed, leading to severe anxiety. The swimmer, winner of 28 Olympic medals, would look in the mirror and not like what he saw.
“Once I opened up about that and things that I had kept inside of me for so many years, I then found that life was a lot easier. I got to the point where I understood that it’s OK to not be OK,” he says in the film.
“Angst,” an IndieFlix film designed to be screened at schools and community centers, features candid interviews with children and young adults discussing their anxiety, along with advice from mental health experts and resources and tools. Phelps is like a muscular explanation mark for what the filmmakers wanted to show — that even world champions can feel low.
“I’m grateful because my mission with this film is to help make the world a better place and I believe he is so additive on that level,” said Scilla Andreen, CEO and co-founder of IndieFlix.
“If we can introduce prevention, self-care and well-being to our children — even in the pre-K and kindergarten years — they can have a completely different life.”
Andreen hopes the film will reach more than 3 million people around the world from 25,000 community and school screenings. “Angst” was filmed in the U.S. and United Kingdom and is appropriate for children starting at age 10.
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MORE: Phelps still has ‘no desire’ to come back
The Alpine skiing team event will make its Olympic debut in PyeongChang
How to watch
Friday, Feb. 23, 9:00 p.m. ET
LIVE EVENT STREAM
Olympic skiing has always been an individual sport. Simply, the fastest skier down the mountain wins the gold medal.
But the world’s best skiers will have to rely on their teammates for the first time in the team event, which is making its Olympic debut in PyeongChang.
The team event will feature 16 teams, or nations, of four athletes (two men and two women). The 16 teams will be arranged in a bracket-style, single-elimination format. Think NCAA March Madness.
A skier from each of the two competing nations will race down the course in a series of head-to-head slalom races. The winner will earn a point for his or her team. The team with the most points after four heats will advance. If the teams have the same number of points, the winner will be the nation with the lower combined time of its fastest male and female competitor.
Teams are allowed to have a maximum of two reserves.
France won the team event at the 2017 World Championships. The U.S., competing without Mikaela Shiffrin, was knocked out in the first round by Canada.
“It’s a really fun event,” said American AJ Ginnis. “The atmosphere—the fact that you get to race with girls and guys and it’s a team effort is really cool.”
Now that Anna Gasser of Austria has successfully captured the first-ever Olympic gold medal in women’s snowboard big air, it’s almost time to crown the first-ever Olympic champion on the men’s side.
Big air snowboarding has progressed tremendously in recent years, and there’s been a lot of build-up to these Olympics, so expect heavy tricks to come out quickly in the final.
Or as Mark McMorris put it: “There’s probably [going to be] some mind-boggling s—.”
Every time there’s a big air event, there’s always talk about “quads” — a type of trick that features four inverted flips. It’s such a progressive trick that only two riders have landed a quad in competition, only a few others have done it in training, and many are hesitant to even try.
Read the full preview at NBCOlympics.com