This study explores a composite vignette of athletes acculturating in a national sport system. The research questions were: What acculturation narratives did the athletes’ construct when they considered the notion of their receiving culture’s national sport system? And within these, what are the key challenges in relation to support that the athletes storied about their receiving culture’s national sport system as they sought to acculturate? The research was framed in critical acculturation (see Chirkov, 2009a, 2009b). The fluid process of acculturation is illustrated using creative nonfiction presenting one unifying voice presented within a composite vignettes (see Spalding & Phillips, 2007). The three themes in the acculturation vignette were as follows: (a) nothing but love—a nationalistic romance, (b) losing my romance with nationalism, and (c) dollars in exchange for newcomer results. This project reveals how immigrant elite athletes can move between distinct narratives that can contradict one another.
Robert Joel Schinke, Amy T. Blodgett, Kerry R. McGannon, Yang Ge, Odirin Oghene, and Michelle Seanor
Michelle E. Seanor, Cole E. Giffin, Robert J. Schinke, and Diana A. Coholic
Elite gymnastics sport culture is presently under global scrutiny. Largely ignited by the highly publicized case of serial sexual abuses in USA Gymnastics, multiple national gymnastics teams have disclosed stories of athlete abuse. Our author team utilized media data to investigate the serial sexual abuses that occurred on the Brazilian Men’s Gymnastics Team. Using media data to conceptualize athlete maltreatment is novel and facilitated our holistic interpretation of athlete maltreatment across multiple levels of athletes’ developmental systems. The authors traced the media coverage temporally and identified four overarching themes: (a) uncovering the case (subthemes—the Brazilian sport context; the Brazilian men’s gymnastics context; the club context), (b) before abuse was identified (subthemes—the coach–athlete dyad: before disclosure; the athlete: a lost childhood; social connectivity: isolation; the gymnastics system: mechanisms of abuse), (c) when abuse was recognized (subthemes—the coach–athlete dyad: athlete resistance; the athlete: identifying the impact; social connectivity: building connections; the gymnastics system: consequences of abuse), and (d) the legacy of abuse (subthemes—the coach–athlete dyad: ongoing abuses; the athlete: cyclical victimization; social connectivity: expanding connections; the gymnastics system: after abuse). Utilizing media data facilitated our culturally contextualized interpretation of athlete abuse to present tailored recommendations for practitioners.
Michelle Seanor, Robert J. Schinke, Natalia B. Stambulova, Kristoffer Henriksen, Dave Ross, and Cole Giffin
Olympic-medal performances represent peak accomplishments in athlete development. Seanor, Schinke, Stambulova, Ross, and Kpazai identified environmental factors in a high-performance Canadian trampoline sport environment that developed decorated Olympic medalists. The current intrinsic case study was authored to further highlight the idiosyncrasies of a high-performance trampoline environment (re)presenting stories garnered from this localized Canadian sport environment. Through guided walks, a mobile method of conversational interviews, three contextual experts who are engaged in the development of Olympic athletes provided tours of their sport environment. Each contextual expert’s guided walk played out uniquely in relation to his or her ascribed role (i.e., Olympic coach, assistant coach, and Olympic champion). Three main themes were identified through interpretive thematic analysis: creating lift (subthemes: facility design, sport-culture paragons), providing a tailwind (subthemes: establishing athlete–coach partnerships, team interactions), and soaring onto the Olympic podium (subthemes: preparing athletes to be untethered, competitive collaboration). Each theme is presented through three portrait vignettes, with discrete vantages derived from each contextual expert to illuminate the context from idiosyncratic ascribed roles within the environment. These stories create a rich (re)presentation of a high-performance sport environment through the interplay of the contextual experts’ narratives, their surrounding context, and their Olympic-podium accomplishments.