"If we work hard, we can do it": A tale from an Olympic Gold medalist

Anne Pensgaard, Joan Duda

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

37 Citations (Scopus)
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The purpose of this study was to gain day-to-day insight into how an elite athlete experiences competing in the Olympic Games with regard to perceived stress, the subsequent coping efforts, and the maintenance of a positive response outcome expectancy. One Norwegian female soccer player wrote a journal throughout the pre-camp and the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney. "Tina" employed a range of coping strategies, both problem-focused and emotion focused, when faced with challenges such as feeling a lack of self-confidence and the team losing the first match. However, she kept a strong belief in her team's ability to win and had a strong positive response outcome expectancy throughout the targeted period. The team won the Olympic Gold medal and Tina attributed this achievement to the hard work everybody on the team had exhibited over a long period of time. The results of this qualitative analysis are discussed with respect to contemporary theories of stress, coping, and motivation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)219-236
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Applied Sport Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2002


  • coping strategies
  • psychology
  • stress
  • sport


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