Own the Podium Funding and Support: The Athletes' Perspective
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The purpose of this study was to understand the experiences of Canada’s high performance athletes who have benefitted from Own the Podium (OTP)-recommended funding and support leading up to an Olympic or Paralympic Games. OTP, a nonprofit agency, is responsible for determining the overall investment strategy for high performance sport in Canada through recommendations to support national sport organizations (NSOs) with the aim to improve Canadian performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. For this study, data were collected through in-depth interviews with eleven Canadian high performance athletes (i.e., single-sport Summer/Winter Olympians and Paralympians and recently retired athletes). Analysis of the data resulted in twelve overarching themes; resources, pressure, missing gap, results, targeting, stress, expectations, boost in confidence, OTP relationship, OTP name, pre/post OTP, and lost funding. Overall, results from this exploratory research indicate that athletes generally had a favourable perception regarding OTP-recommended funding and support.