The motives for participating in competitive sports among male and female elite disabled athletes from different countries have not been studied. Similarities and differences were therefore examined in the rating of importance of the seven motive factors of fitness, team atmosphere, skill development, excitement and challenge, friendship, achievement and status, and energy release. The countries studied included the U.S., Great Britain, and Japan. Data were collected during the Seoul Paralympics from 15 male and 15 female track athletes ages 20–30 from each country. All subjects competed in wheelchairs and met the eligibility criteria of the International Stoke Mandeville Games Federation. The instrument used was a questionnaire designed by Gould, Feltz, and Weiss (1985) to examine motives for participating in competition. There were significant differences among athletes from the three countries in the motive factors of fitness, team atmosphere, and excitement and challenge. Gender differences were found in the motive factors of friendship as well as achievement and status.
Lena Fung is with the Sports Centre, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, Hong Kong.