“Mission impossible”? How a successful female cross-country skier managed a dual career as a professional athlete and medical student : A case study
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Original versionBergström, M., Solli, G. S., Sandbakk, Ø., & Sæther, S. A. (2022). “Mission impossible”? How a successful female cross-country skier managed a dual career as a professional athlete and medical student : A case study. Scandinavian Sport Studies Forum, 13, 57-83.
The aim of the present case study is to illuminate the factors contributing to the initiation, maintenance and discontinuation of the dual career of a Norwegian world-class athlete and medicine student. We additionally aimed to highlight contextual factors facilitating and impeding the dual career development. The participant Astrid Uhrenholdt Jacobsen was a Norwegian student-athlete in the 2005–2020 period when she concurrently achieved 10 FIS World Championship medals, one Olympic medal, and 43 World Cup podiums in cross-country ski- ing. Day-to-day training diary data, study load and progress, performance, and interviews were analysed. In most years, the participant’s annual training vol- ume was c. 800–900 hrs/year. No significant differences in athletic performance were seen between the years with full-time studies, part-time studies, and study breaks. The participant Jacobsen experienced conflicting schedules and a lack of dual career support from stakeholders as the major challenges. Hence, the present single-case study provides unique data on the process and management of a dual career.