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O 1999 Human Kinetics Publishers, Inc.

Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies

sf Norwegian Paralympic
and Olympic Winter Sport Athletes
Anne Marte Pensgaard and Glyn C. Roberts
Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Education
Holger Ursin
University of Bergen
This study aimed to compare individual and situational motivational factors
and the use of coping strategies among elite athletes with and without physical disabilities. Participants were Norwegian athletes from the 1994 Winter
Olympics (n = 69) and Paralympics ( n = 30) at Lillehamrner. Quantitative
data came from questions concerning expectations and satisfactions, and three
instruments (Perceptionof Success Questionnaire,Perceived MotivationalClimate Questionnaire, and the COPE Inventory). Qualitative data came from
interviews. MANOVA analyses revealed that Paralympic and Olympic athletes had similar motivational profiles, but the Paralympic athletes perceived
a more mastery-oriented climate, F(l, 98) = 12.6,p < .001. Both groups used
similar types of coping strategies, except that Olympic athletes employed more
redefinition and growth strategies, F(1, 97) = 6.72, p < .01. Paralympic athletes were also significantly more satisfied with effort and results. Paralympic
and Olympic athletes were significantly different on only 4 of 11 variables.

The psychology of elite athletes with disabilities is an understudied topic in

sport psychology (Goodling & Asken, 1987; Porretta & Moore, 1997). Sport for
people with physical disabilities has grown over the last decade. Our understanding of the psychology of such elite athletes has also grown. Studies from the past
10-15 years have mainly focused on psychological parameters of athletes with
disabilities (e.g., Cox & Davis, 1992;French, Henschen, & Horvat, 1991;Henschen,
Horvat, & Roswal, 1992). Other research areas include motivation (e.g., Fung,
1992; Mao, 1995; Scott, 1995; White & Duda, 1993), use of coping strategies
(e.g., Bouffard & Crocker, 1992; Overton, 1989), and psychological skill training
Anne Marte Pensgaard and Glyn C. Roberts are with the Norwegian University of
Sport and Physical Education, PO Box 4014, Ullevaal Stadion, N-0806 Oslo, Norway. Holger
Ursin is with the Department of Biological and Medical Psychology in the Division of
Physiological Psychology at University of Bergen,Aarstadveien 21, N-5009 Bergen, Norway.

Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies


(e.g., Hanrahan, 1995). The purpose of the present study was to investigate the
motivational determinants of competition coping strategies among elite able-bodied
athletes and those with disabilities.
The athlete with a disability, especially the elite athlete, is still a much-less
understood individual than the able-bodied peer. Do elite athletes with disabilities
differ in their use of psychological skills compared to nonathletes with disabilities
and able-bodiedathletes? Among elite athletes who participated in the United States
Wheelchair Basketball Paralympic Team Trials, players who where selected for
the Paralympic team were significantly less tense and angry than those who did
not make the team (Henschen et al., 1992), as measured on the Profile of Mood
States (POMS) instrument (Morgan, 1980). These results are consistent with
Henschen et al.'s findings for able-bodied athletes and the finding that participation in athletic competition appears to lower the depression and increase the vigor
of athletes with disabilities compared to nonathletic persons with disabilities
(Campbell & Jones, 1994; Jacobs, Roswal, Horvat, & Gorman, 1990).
For comparison with the able-bodied athlete, when physical functioning is
diminished in one area, it is assumed that psychological adjustments are required
(Sherrill, 1998). Athletes with disabilities wish to be viewed as wanting to optimize their sport abilities through long, hard training. This need to be accepted as
serious athletes is also seen as part of the strugglefor equal opportunity and against
prejudice (Wheeler,Malone, VanVlack, Nelson, & Steadward, 1996).Athletes with
disabilities need coping strategies and the ability to withstand pressure in a way
that athletes without disabilities never have to learn. Research indicates that wheelchair athletes are more able to control the negative effects of anxiety and seem
more motivated than able-bodied collegiate-level track-and-field athletes (Cox &
Davis, 1989). This finding suggests that athletes with disabilities have developed
adaptive skills to cope with the challenges of competitive sport.
To further study these factors, it is necessary to have comparable groups.
For example, elite athletes with disabilities should be compared with elite ablebodied athletes, not with college students. The explosive development within disability sport offers new possibilities for such studies. In Norway, for instance,
athletes with disabilities are accepted at the National Olympic Training Center
(Olympiatoppen Project) based on results from national and international competition. The trainees receive financial support and professional training consultation
on the same terms as athletes without disabilities. This policy facilitates determining whether elite athletes with disabilities differ from able-bodied participants.
The conceptual underpinning of this study was based on achievement
goal theory (e.g., Ames, 1992; Nicholls, 1989, 1992), which has demonstrated relevance to able-bodied athletes and those with disabilities (e.g., Duda & White,
1992; White & Duda, 1993). Achievement goal theory is based on perceived
ability. However, two perceptions of ability are observed to function in achievement contexts:
Task involvement: a perception based on learning and mastery.
Ego involvement: a perception based on social comparison with others.
Whether one is in a state of ego or task involvement depends on the individual's disposition to be ego or task involved and the motivational climate created by the coach and administrators of elite sport. Being task or ego involved
has important implications for perceiving competition as threatening and for

Pensgaard, Roberts, and Ursin


the use of coping strategies in competition (Pensgaard & Roberts, in press).

In addition, this is true for both able-bodied athletes and those with disabilities
(Duda & White, 1992; Pensgaard & Roberts, in press; White & Duda, 1993).
A particular focus of the present study was determining whether Olympic
and Paralympic athletes perceive different motivationalclimates. The extrememedia
focus and public attention on the Olympic Games place enormous pressure on
athletes to excel and win. Frankly, there is less focus on participants of the
Paralympic Games. Therefore, we expected that Paralympic athletes would perceive a more mastery-oriented climate and that Olympic athletes would perceive
one of performance (Arnes & Acher, 1988). We hypothesized that this would affect the use of coping strategies, where Olympic athletes would use them more
than the Paralympians. Interaction effects have been reported between goal orientations and use of coping strategies among Olympic athletes, where high-task/
low-ego oriented athletes employed more problem-focused strategiesthan athletes
with other profiles (Pensgaard & Roberts, in press). The small sample of Paralympic athletes causes a problem with statistical power. If, however, Paralympians reveal motivational profiles that are similar to those of Olympic athletes, and the coping pattern is coherent, then we can also assume a relationship
between motivational profiles and the use of coping strategies among
Paralympic athletes.
Finally, to obtain a deeper understanding of how elite athletes with disabilities perceive the motivational climate created by their coaches, and the coping
strategies they used, we used in-depth interviews and standardized questionnaires.
Qualitative approaches in sport psychology research have been encouraged by
many researchers (e.g., Gould, Eklund, & Jackson, 1993; Roberts & Treasure,
1995). To the best of our knowledge, no previous study has used a qualitative
approach to compare elite athletes with and without disabilities.

Participants were Norwegian elite athletes. All competitors in the 1994 Winter
Olympic (n = 91) and Paralympic Games (n = 43) were asked to participate in this
study. A total of 69 Olympic (49 males and 20 females, 76% response rate) and 30
Paralympic athletes (23 male and 7 females, 70% response rate) returned the questionnaires, for an overall response rate of 74%. Norway had participants in all the
winter events, except for figure skating. Paralympic athletes' disabilities included
spinal cord injuries (n = 17), amputations (n = 1l), vision impairments (n = l), and
cerebral palsy (n = 1).

A demographic data sheet, including single-item questions about expectations and satisfactions, and three psychological instruments were completed
by each participant. Age, gender, athletic age (i.e., how long they had been
active in the sport), and years of competing internationally were reported.
Mean ages for the Olympic and Paralympic participants were 25.3 (SL) = 3.8)
and 30.4 (SD = 9.4) years, respectively @ < .001). Paralympic athletes were also

Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies


asked to specify their sport classification and onset of disability (congenital or

acquired). A total of 8 participants reported congenital disability, and 22 reported an acquired one.
Expectations and Satisfactions. To obtain the athletes' subjective ratings
of expectations about results, satisfactionwith effort, and satisfaction with results,
three single-item questions were presented. Athletes indicated the level of their
expectations in relation to performance on a 0-100 scale, where 0 indicated low
expectations and 100 indicated high expectations. Using a 0-100 scale, where 0
meant low satisfaction and 100 high satisfaction, athletes indicated how satisfied
they were with their general effort during the Olympics/Paralympics. Finally, athlete satisfaction with results was measured on a 0-100 scale, where 0 indicated
low satisfaction and 100 indicated high satisfaction. If athletes had competed in
more than one event, they were asked to indicate their general satisfaction.
Perception of Success Questionnaire. To measure individual goal orientations, we used a Norwegian version of the Perception of Success Questionnaire
(POSQ; Roberts & Ommundsen, 1996;Roberts, Treasure, & Balague, 1998).When
the POSQ was translated into Norwegian, even though it demonstrated acceptable
construct validity (Ommundsen, Roberts, & Kavussanu, 1998; Roberts &
Omrnundsen, 1996), the factor analysis revealed a third factor created by two of
the task items. Translation was considered a possible problem, which would have
confounded the meaning content of these two items (Roberts & Ommundsen, 1996).
Therefore, in this study, we included two additional task-oriented items-'? work
very hard" and "I do the very best I can"--to determine whether this addition
would improve the internal consistency of the scale. The Cronbach's alpha coefficients for the 6-item ego- and 8-item task-orientation scales were .75 and .75, respectively. Therefore, in the present study, we used the 8-item task orientation scale.
Perceived Motivational Climate in Sport Questionnaire. A Norwegian version (Roberts & Omrnundsen, 1996) of the Perceived Motivational Climate in
Sport Questionnaire (PMCSQ; Seifriz, Duda, & Chi, 1992) was used to measure
perceptions of motivational climate. This translated scale has demonstrated adequate construct validity (Ommundsen et al., 1998). Typically, two types of climate are measured: mastery- and performance-oriented. Some modifications of
the PMCSQ were made because it was originally designed to measure climate in
team activities. Alpha coefficients for the 6-item mastery and 9-item performance
scales were .75, and 34, respectively.Both scales were used in the further analyses.
COPE. To determine the coping strategies that were employed, we used
the COPE inventory (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989), which contains five
scales to measure distinct aspects of problem-focused coping (active coping, planning, suppression of competing activities,restraint coping, and seeking instrumental
support), five scales of emotion-focused coping (seeking emotional social support, positive reinterpretation and growth, acceptance, denial, and turning to religion), and three behavior-focused scales (focus on and venting of emotions,
behavioral disengagement, and mental disengagement). The turning to religion
scale was not used in this study due to its possible provocative nature. Each scale
consists of four items, each scored on a 4-point Likert-type scale (1 = I did not do
this at all; 4 = I did this a lot).Athletes were asked to describe the most stressful
negative experience from the preceding OlympicParalympic Games. Further
instructions were: "Based on what you have described, please indicate on the following scale what kind of strategies you used to deal with the situation." Thus, we

Pensgaard, Roberts, and Ursin



used the situation-specific version of COPE. The scales have acceptable psychometric properties (Carver, Scheier, & Weintraub, 1989).The Norwegian version of
COPE was developed via extensive translation and a back translation process by
five professors at the Norwegian University of Sport and Physical Activity. The
translated version was also compared to a translation from the Department of Psychology at the University of Oslo. Discrepancieswere resolved through discussion.
In the present study, subscales with reliability coefficients less than .65 were
eliminated from all subsequent analysis. Thus, the following subscales were eliminated: restraint coping (.48) and mental disengagement (.45). Alpha coefficients
for all scales used in the present study are shown in Table 1; these were based on
data from 69 Olympic and 30 Paralympic athletes.
Interview Guide. The interview guide1 developed for this study covered
five main topics: early stages of the athletic career, perceived stress and coping
methods, the 1994Paralympic experience, the meaning of coach and team climate,
and differences and similaritiesbetween athletes with and without disabilities.This
paper particularly focused on the last topic. During this particular portion of the
interview, athletes were asked to reflect upon the following main questions:
Table 1 Cronbach's Alpha for Goal Orientations, Motivational Climate, and
Coping Strategies

Cronbach's alpha

Goal orientation
Motivational climate
Active coping
Social instrumental
Social emotional
Suppression of competing activities
Redefinition and growth
Restraint coping
Venting of emotions
Mental disengagement
Behavioral disengagement
Note. N = 99.
'The interview guide is available upon request from the first author.


Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies


What do you think are the major differences between ordinary and disability
Why do you think there is a difference?
All the athIetes were asked identical questions in the same order to avoid
interviewerbiases. Additional follow-upquestions and probes were asked as necessary (Kvale, 1996). In this study, we specially looked at how elite athletes
with disabilities viewed their situations compared to those of elite athletes
without disabilities.

Questionnairesand an informed consent form were mailed to the athletes immediately after the Olympic and Paralyrnpic Games and returned within 2 months after
competition. We emphasized that participants could withdraw from the study at
any time. A strategic sample (Patton, 1990) of 3 athletes (1 female and 2 male)
with disabilities was selected for the qualitative part of the study. All three had
been training extensively with athletes without disabilitiesfor long periods or been
involved with top-level sport and thus had a reasonable background to compare
their situation to elite athletes without disabilities. All three achieved excellent
results during the 1994Paralympics at Lillehammer (i.e., 2 athletes won gold medals,
and 1 won a silver).
Interview location and time were scheduled for the 3 athletes who agreed to
participate in this part of the study. Each interview was conducted at the athlete's
site of choice: one at the University of Sport and Physical Education, and the other
at each athlete's workplace. Interview transcripts (1.5-2 hr each) were given to the
athletes so that they could provide comments (and additional information, if necessary). No changes were made.

Data Analyses
All quantitativedata were entered into the SPSS statisticalpackage (1994, Version
6.1). A MANOVA was conducted to examine differences between the conceptual
related variables (expectations, satisfaction with effort, and satisfaction with results), goal orientations and motivational climate, and coping strategies. Effect
size (eta-squared) was calculated for each significant difference.
Qualitative data were used to enhance our interpretation of the quantitative
fmdings. Thus, we utilized a phenomenologicaldescription approach (Kvale, 1996),
where the aim is to understand social phenomena from the actors' own perspectives. Quotations are therefore presented in the discussion section.

Descriptive Statistics and Testing for Gender Differences
Means and standard deviations of expectations, satisfaction with effort, satisfaction with results, goal orientations, perceptions of motivational climate,
and use of coping strategies are reported for Paralympic and Olympic athletes
in Table 2.

Pensgaard, Roberts, and Ursin


Table 2 A comparison of Goal Orientations, Perceived Motivational Climate,

ExpectationsISatisfaction Variables, and Coping Strategies of Paralympic and
Olympic Athletes
Olympic ( n = 69) Paralympic (n = 30)




Goal orientation
Motivational climate
Performance climate
Mastery climate
Expectations and staisfaction
Satisfaction with effort
Satisfaction with results
Active coping
Social instrumental
Social emotional
Suppression of competing
Redefinition and growth
Venting of emotions
Behavioral disengagement

To determine whether there were gender differences in goal orientations,

perceptions of climate, expectations of and satisfaction with results, and use of
coping strategies, we conducted separate MANOVA tests for Olympic and
Paralympic athletes. No multivariate main effect for Gender emerged; thus, we
used the total sample in the subsequent analyses.

Group Differences
To determine whether there were any differences in these variables, we conducted
three separate MANOVA tests with Olympic and Paralympic athletes as the independent variables in each. Goal orientations and perceived motivational climate
were dependent variables in Test 1, expectations, satisfaction with effort, and satisfaction with results in Test 2, and coping strategies in Test 3.
In the first analysis, a significant multivariate main effect emerged, F(4,
93) = 3.45, p < .01. Univariate follow-up analyses revealed that Paralympic athletes perceived a significantly more mastery-oriented climate (M = 4.3), F(1,98) =

Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies


12.6, p < .001, than Olympic athletes (M = 3.7). Interestingly, athletes did not
differ in terms of their personal dispositionalprofiles. Effect size was .11.
The second analysis also revealed a significant multivariate main effect, F(3,
93) = 10.36. p < .001. Subsequent univariate analyses (see Table 2) indicated that
Paralympic athletes were significantly more satisfied with Effort, F(l, 97) = 13.5,
p < .001, and Results F(l, 97) = 31.09, p < -001, than Olympic athletes. Effect
sizes were .12 and .24, respectively.
Finally, a significant multivariate main effect emerged for Coping Strategies, F(9, 88) = 2.18, p < .05. Follow-up analysis revealed that Olympic athletes
employed more redefinition and growth strategies than Paralympic athletes, F(l,
97) = 6.72, p < .01, ES = .06.

The primary purpose of the present study was to compare individual and situational motivational factors and the use of coping strategies among elite athletes
with and without physical disabilities. The overall impression is that few differences were observed, which is an interesting finding. Apparently, the experience
of elite competition is similar for individuals with and without a disability. We
discuss our findings according to the categories we investigated.

Motivational Factors
Athletes appeared to have similar goal orientationprofiles, which supports Henschen
et al.'s (1992) results. Paralympic athletes were as ego- and task-oriented as Olympic
athletes. This means the Paralympians were competitive and wished to compare
well with their peers. However, some differences were also evident. Paralympians
perceived a more mastery-oriented climate than Olympians.
The most remarkable finding was the lack of differences in the two groups'
motivational profiles. Goal orientation profiles were very similar. Both groups
scored high on ego and task goal orientation, as expected. This is consistent with
previous research, although White and Duda (1993) also found that high taskoriented wheelchair athletes reported that sport success was due not only to effort
but also to external factors. This contrasts with findings for athletes without disabilities (Roberts & Ommundsen, 1996). However, this exception is understandable because wheelchair athletes do depend on external factors (e.g., the wheelchair)
to succeed (White & Duda, 1993). The similarities at this level are underlined by
one statement:
Compared to able-bodied elite sport participants, I think we in many ways
are more creative, better at finding new solutions, and have a focus on the
technical matters . . . more than those who succeed in able-bodied sport. . . .
But I think they also have much the same way of thinking.
However, one athlete made the point that athletes with disabilities have to
learn very early (in regard to the time of disability onset) to be focused on selfimprovement in order to maintain motivation:

I started to train in an ordinary sports club, and I became used to being last
also at the training sessions. And I had to work hard with my own psyche

Pensgaard, Roberts, and Ursin


and to learn to set up goals based on my own standards. And I was very
patient compared to the others. One day, when I realized that the primary
task was to compete against myself and improve, then I remember I thought
that I was actually quite lucky to have had a handicap because the others had
not learned this yet! I was 12 at the time. . . . The others were devastated
because they had not won. Lost for the first time in their lives! And then it
actually was quite okay to be on "the other side," too, because you know that
you have to fight!
Perceptions of motivational climate were also similar; both groups perceived
their climate as performance-oriented. However, as expected and supported by the
effect size test, the Paralympians perceived their climate to be more mastery-oriented
than the Olympic athletes. This was also supported by the qualitative data.
Paralympic athletes' perceived mastery climate is apparently influenced by the
experience of being disabled. The interview data suggest that there may also be an
effect from the motives of those involved in managing disability sport. The interviews revealed some dissatisfaction with the way disability sport is managed:
What one should not do--this is how I feel, anyway-is to be too kind. In a
way there has not been enough demanded of athletes with disabilities in the
past. The coach has been an expert in his sport, but then he is afraid of offending or doing some harm to the disabled athlete, or is afraid of pushing
too hard because he does not know much about disabled persons. But this is
a big misunderstanding.I think that disabled persons can cope with pressure
better than most people, especially those who compete in sports, they have
coped with many situations on the way. You have been through many
personal crises, and then, I think, you are also able to cope with more.
The problem may have roots in the divergence of motives between athletes
and the difference between the motives of athletes and leaders. One athlete explicitly said that those who function as leaders in sport for athletes with disabilities do
so out of a caring or service motive, and with too little emphasis on the outcome.
This possible conflict should be addressed in future studies.
Roberts (1992) suggested that highly ego-oriented athletes, who experience
a climate that is different from their predominant goal orientation, may not be as
motivated to achieve. The overwhelmingtrend from previous studies has been that
a mastery-oriented climate is preferred over one of performance (e.g., Omrnundsen
et al., 1998). However, findings from the present study-the first to include athletes with disabilities-suggest that the climate surrounding these elite athletes
might be too mastery-oriented in that these individuals show a lack of expectations about performance, at least for athletes with highly perceived ability. This
needs to be addressed in the future.

Expectations and Satisfaction

Findings from this study revealed that Paralympic and Olympic athletes had similar expectations prior to the Paralympics/Olympics, but that the Olympians were
far less satisfied with themselves in retrospect. The effect size coefficientsindicate
that the difference is not a result of the unequal number of athletes in the two
groups. One liable explanation is the higher achievement rate in Paralympics, with
more competition categories in each event and fewer participants. It may also be
the result of differences within goal setting, as explained by one athlete:

Motivational Factors and Coping Strategies


To be quite honest, there are some differences when it comes to goal setting.
And the differences within the handicapped elite sport are greater than in
ordinary sport. The goals for the very best disabled athletes might even be
higher than the ones the able-bodied elite athletes have. We also seem to
have more eagerness and spirit to meet the different challenges than have
able-bodied athletes. On the other hand, we have those whom I really would
not categorize as being elite athletes.

Coping Strategies
There was only one difference in the use of coping strategies: Olympic athletes
employed more redefinition and growth strategies than Paralympic athletes. To
some extent, this was a surprising finding because one could expect that it was the
Paralympic athletes (who have learned to cope with a disability) who would employ more positive redefinition and growth strategies when faced with stressful
situations. However, Paralympic athletes, rather than redefining the stressful situation in more positive terms, seem to have learned to live with disability in a functional way. In addition, findings from this study show that the Paralympians were
very satisfied with effort and results. Thus, the need for this particular strategy was
not present. However, we should be cautious when interpreting this finding based
on the relative low effect size coefficient.
Despite individual differences, Paralympians appear to be a select group
that may differ from the general population with physical disabilities. Bouffard
and Cracker's (1992) study of the coping behaviors among persons with disabilities revealed a dynamic pattern similar to findings for able-bodied exercisers, although they did not test whether these individuals also used the same type of
strategies. However, based on the findings, there does not seem to be any crucial
differences in coping style and the dynamics of coping between athletes with and
without disabilities.
The main finding is, therefore, that the two groups of athletes are similar,
with much the same goals and expectancies from their sport. However, the lack of
between-group differences does not imply a lack of individual differences. This is
indeed the case within both groups. For the athletes with disabilities, in particular,
the variance may be even greater than in ordinary elite sport. According to Williams (1994), the homogeneity of populations with disabilities is a myth, and sport
socialization produces many different identities. There is even a hierarchy of preference among athletes with disabilities toward other athletes with disabilities
(Mastro, Burton, Rosendahl, & Sherrill, 1996). People are recruited to disability
sport at very different stages in their lives, depending on whether they have a
congenital or acquired disability. In this study, 73% of the Norwegian participants
at the Paralympics were not born with a disability, and they were an average of 10
years older than participants with a congenital disability (M age = 33 and 23, respectively). Many of the athletes in disability sport enter the sport world at an
older age and are unfamiliar with the demands of life as an elite athlete. This is a
great challenge for the athletes, but also for sport coaches and administrators for
people with disabilities. A heterogeneous group requires individual treatment to
avoid frustration from gaps between expectations and goals.
Future studies should address the possible differences among different subgroups of athletes with congenital or acquired disabilities and why these differences occur, as emphasized by Sherrill (1997). Campbell (1995), for example,

Pensgaard, Robetts, and Ursin


compared the psychological well-being of wheelchair sport participants with congenital and acquired disabilities. Psychological well-being was assessed according to scores on mood, trait anxiety, and self-esteem and mastery. Campbell found
that the group with acquired disabilities generally had a more positive mood, higher
self-esteem and mastery, and lower trait anxiety. In contrast, Mastro and French
(1984) reported that athletes with vision impairments, congenital or acquired, exhibited anxiety levels similar to other populations. To explain this contrast, Mastro
and French pointed out that most of the athletes with congenital loss did have
some useable vision, whereas most of the athletes with acquired loss had none at
all. Clearly, we need to continue this line of research.
The impact of gender is another important mediating factor that has been
largely overlooked.According to Shemll(1997), females with disabilities tend to
experience more prejudice and discrimination than males, especially within the
context of sport, where they are largely underrepresented. This is also evident in
the present study. Gender differences in sport socialization, culture, training, and
competition may have affected the dependent variables. Our decision not to examine such differences in more depth may have limited our findings. However,
MANOVA tests indicated no gender differences in any of the motivational variables or the use of coping strategies.
Paralympic and Olympic sport may appear as two different worlds. There
are immense differences in public and media attention, how the sports are organized, and financial funding of the athletes. Even so, peak performers in any field
seem to have more similarities than differences. Athletes without disabilities,
coaches, and sport psychology researchers should acknowledgethat they can learn
from elite athletes with disabilities.

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