The elite endurance athlete as a mother

University essay from Göteborgs universitet/Institutionen för kost- och idrottsvetenskap

Author: Emma Belforth; [2013-11-13]

Keywords: Motherhood; Pregnancy; endurance sport; Bourdieu;

Abstract: The purpose of this research was to get an insight in womens life as elite sporting mothers. In four interviews, elite endurance athletes shared their experiences of being pregnant and be-coming mothers during their sporting careers. Interviewees were held with four Swedish longdistance-athletes from the sport of running, triathlon, biathlon and cross country skiing. Data was analysed employing a Bourdieuian perspective. The results of this study point to three key findings: a)The four elite endurance sports mothers have a strong sporting habitus, but they also separate parts of their identities from sports. Sport is no longer their only high capital; b) The love and relation to the mothers’ children is an important capital and contrib-utes in a positive way to their field of sports. It seems to result in these athletes getting more relaxed and finding stronger motivation for joy of their sport; c) The support from partner and family is important for the women to manage to firmly keep a foot in the two fields: sport and family.

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