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    Continuing or withdrawing from endurance sport events under environmental uncertainty: athletes’ decision-making

    Peng, Qi ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8730-4458, Liu, Chunbin, Scelles, Nicolas ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6177-5307 and Inoue, Yuhei ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1983-6217 (2023) Continuing or withdrawing from endurance sport events under environmental uncertainty: athletes’ decision-making. Sport Management Review. ISSN 1441-3523

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    This paper seeks to answer the question: what impacts athletes’ decision-making to continue or withdraw from an endurance sport event under environmental uncertainty amid the rise of extreme weathers? Underpinned by prospect theory and the framework of risk information seeking, qualitative data were collected via 14 in-depth semi-structured interviews with amateur and professional athletes and coded using thematic analysis. Findings suggest that endurance sport athletes do consider withdrawal as an option before and during an event. The severity of weather and a lack of physical and psychological preparedness may lead to the decision of withdrawal. Additionally, different decisions can be made under an interplay between weather conditions and physical and psychological status. Event organisers, family, friends and fellow participants may also influence athletes’ decision-making. Finally, based on personal goals set for an event, both risk-seeking (continue) and risk-aversion (discontinue) behaviours may occur when facing the same environmental uncertainty. The paper calls attention to protecting athletes’ wellbeing by undertaking timely withdrawals under environmental uncertainty. By highlighting the vulnerability of endurance sport athletes to environmental uncertainty, this study encourages event organisers to evidence their ability to face environmental uncertainty and enhance/preserve their reputation in event risk management.

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