eCite Digital Repository

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


McGannon, KR and Pomerleau-Fontaine, L and McMahon, J, Extreme sport, identity, and well-being: a case study and narrative approach to elite skyrunning, Case Studies in Sport and Exercise Psychology, 4, (S1) pp. 8-16. ISSN 2470-4857 (2020) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2020 Human Kinetics, Inc.

DOI: doi:10.1123/cssep.2019-0031


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 Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:adventure sport, athlete identity, narrative inquiry, qualitative
Research Division:Psychology
Research Group:Applied and developmental psychology
Research Field:Sport and exercise psychology
Objective Division:Expanding Knowledge
Objective Group:Expanding knowledge
Objective Field:Expanding knowledge in psychology
UTAS Author:McMahon, J (Associate Professor Jennifer McMahon)
ID Code:137534
Year Published:2020
Deposited By:Education
Deposited On:2020-02-19
Last Modified:2022-11-04

Repository Staff Only: item control page