Competing Identities: Athletic Versus National Identity in Barcelona

Andrea N. Packard

*Corresponding author: Andrea N. Packard

Original Language

Cite this article

Packard, A. N. (2010). Competing Identities: Athletic Versus National Identity in Barcelona. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 100, 7-13.



The relationship between athletic and national identity for elite athletes who identify as Catalan (n = 21), Spanish (n = 28), and “other nationality” (n = 12), was assessed with the Athletic Identity Measurement Scale (AIMS), the Personally Expressive Activities Questionnaire (PEAQ), and the Identification with Spain scores for 61 participants. Thirty-one women and 30 men from Centre d’Alt Rendiment (C.A.R.), an Olympic training center, also completed a demographic questionnaire concerning their knowledge of Catalan, among other variables. Significant group differences existed for the Identification with Spain scores, indicating that those who identified as Catalan had lower scores than their counterparts. Further, fluency in Catalan correlated with a lower identification with Spain. Results are discussed in terms of the conflict in national identity among elite athletes competing for Spain who do not identify as Spanish.

Keywords: Athletes, Barcelona, Catalan, Catalonia, Elite Sport, National Identity, Spain.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: September 17, 2008

Accepted: December 16, 2008

Published: April 01, 2010