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Retiring from Elite Sports in Greece and Spain

  • Fani Dimoula (a1), Miquel Torregrosa (a1), Maria Psychountaki (a2) and Maria Dolores Gonzalez Fernandez (a3)


The main objective of the present study was to compare the athletic retirement of elite Greek and Spanish athletes in terms of (a) pre-conditions of retirement, (b) transitional period, and (c) consequences of the transition. For this purpose, elite athletes from Greece (n = 76) and Spain (n = 57) described in retrospect their experience leaving competitive sports through the Retirement from Sports Survey (Alfermann, Stambulova, & Zemaityte, 2004). Separate one-way ANOVAs and chi-square tests revealed differences and similarities between the transitional processes of athletes from the two countries. More similarities than differences were detected in the retirement of Greek and Spanish athletes. Based on these commonalities, we proposed a Southern European perspective on the topic. According to the present results the main characteristics of this pattern could be the lack of retirement planning, high athletic identity after the sports career, and predominance of relocation in the sports world after retirement.


Corresponding author

*Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Fani Dimoula. Edifici B. Departamento de Psicologia Bàsica, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona. 08193 Bellaterra, Barcelona (Spain). E-mail:


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This work was partly funded by the grants SEJ2007/64528/PSIC.



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