Life Stories of Paralympic Athletes. Biographical Trajectories

Ana Paula Soláns

*Corresponding author: Ana Paula Soláns

Original Language

Cite this article

Paula Soláns, A. (2014). Life Stories of Paralympic Athletes. Biographical Trajectories. Apunts. Educación Física y Deportes, 117, 84-90.



Over recent years there has been growing interest in gender studies. However, there is a gap regarding women with disabilities and there is virtually no research with an interest in approaching those who have successful careers in any field. One objective of this study was to explore the biographical trajectories of Paralympic sportswomen (motor impairment) based on their own testimony. This non-standard (qualitative) investigation with a flexible and multi-vocal design was carried out with the biographical method using life histories and in-depth interviews analysed with the constant comparative method of Grounded Theory. It was found that the respondents had had no previous sporting experiences at age 18 (except for therapeutic ones) until they were “invited” to take part in sport. That moment marked a turning point in their lives and led to a dual identification; they went from seeing themselves as “unique” during childhood and adolescence to form part of a group of “vital” people who had fruitful sports, family, work and academic trajectories that neither they nor their families had ever imagined. At this juncture they identified themselves as “disabled”, standing out particularly in sports, but there were also those who did so academically and/or at work. The purpose of this investigation was to provide socio-culturally adjusted suggestions for those working on policies, plans and projects on sport and disability as well as to propose an extension in the research perspective for biographical trajectories.

Keywords: Biographical Trajectories, Life Histories, Paralympic Athletes.

ISSN: 1577-4015

Received: July 12, 2013

Accepted: May 12, 2014

Published: July 1, 2014