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Extreme sport, identity, and well-being: a case study and narrative approach to elite skyrunning

McGannon, KR, Pomerleau-Fontaine, L and McMahon, J ORCID: 0000-0002-1079-8939 2020 , 'Extreme sport, identity, and well-being: a case study and narrative approach to elite skyrunning' , Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, vol. 4, no. S1 , S1-8–S1-16 , doi: 10.1123/cssep.2019-0031.

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Although extreme-sport athletes’ experiences have been explored in sport psychology, more research is needed to understand the nuanced identity meanings for these athletes in the context of health and well-being. A case-study approach grounded in narrative inquiry was used to explore identity meanings of 1 elite extreme-sport athlete (i.e., skyrunner Kilian Jornet) in relation to well-being. Data gleaned from 4 documentary films and 10 autobiographical book chapters describing the Summits of My Life project were subjected to a thematic narrative analysis. Two intersecting narratives—discovery and relational—threaded the summits project and were used by Jornet to construct an “ecocentric” identity intertwined with nature in fluid ways, depending on 3 relationships related to well-being: the death of climbing partner Stéphane Brosse, team members’ shared values, and her relationship with partner Emelie Forsberg. An expansion of identity, health, and well-being research on extreme-sport athletes beyond simplistic portrayals of them as pathological risk takers and/or motivated by personality traits was gained from these findings.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:McGannon, KR and Pomerleau-Fontaine, L and McMahon, J
Keywords: adventure sport, athlete identity, narrative inquiry, qualitative
Journal or Publication Title: Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology
Publisher: Human Kinetics, Inc
ISSN: 2470-4857
DOI / ID Number: 10.1123/cssep.2019-0031
Copyright Information:

Copyright 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.

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