Two Athletes’ Narratives of Traumatic Brain Injury, Identity, and Life Change

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This article describes how a traumatic brain injury affected two Finnish elite sportsmen as related in their autobiographical books. The purpose of the article is to gain insights into how a sport-related culture (ice hockey and freeskiing) shapes the development of an athlete’s post-injury life. Findings suggest that athletic identity, perception of injuries, and the meaning of disability are constructed differently in these two sport cultures, reflecting the kind of masculinity prevailing in the sport. In conclusion, not only are prevention of injuries and proper physical rehabilitation needed, but it is also essential to promote social support for injured athletes and gain an understanding of how sports as a sociocultural environment may affect the reconstruction of an injured athlete’s identity after a traumatic brain injury.