The contextualisation of Chinese athletes’ careers in the Chinese Whole Nation System

Yufeng Li, Robert J. Schinke, Thierry R. F. Middleton, Pu Li, Gangyan Si, Liwei Zhang

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The current manuscript contributes to the development of culturally situated athletic career transition literature through an examination of how improved support may be developed for Chinese athletes within their training environment and the Chinese Whole Nation System (CWNS). An overview of the CWNS three-level training network is contextualised through a storied account written by two of the authors who are former Chinese elite athletes. The contextual insights of the CWNS conveyed through the blending of their shared reflective account, brings meaning to their journeys through the CWNS, whilst evoking consideration of the potential challenges and pathways embedded within Chinese athletes’ careers. The impact of the CWNS on athletes’ career development is then considered more broadly in relation to the athletic career scholarship. Highlighted is the importance of supporting aspiring athletes’ holistic development and accounting for transitions in athletes’ sport and non-sport lives as they transition through the CWNS.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)138-155
JournalInternational Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
Issue number1
Early online date17 Jan 2022
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2023


  • Chinese Whole Nation System
  • Chinese athletes
  • athletic career
  • self-reflective tale


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