The Narrative of João Garcia: Climbing to Transcendence

Katie/K Liston, Ana Luisa Pereira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


On the basis of narrative structure, this exploratory work aims to distinguish the livedexperience of a Portuguese sports hero and noted mountain climber, João Garcia.Using phenomenological analyses of biographical interviews lasting over 15 hr in total,the narrative of João Garcia, the Portuguese alpinist who summitted the world’s 14mountains above 8,000 m, is constructed. The analysis also includes the books writtenby Garcia himself in which he presents his “public” or “hero” self. This article focuseson João Garcia’s narrative of his life with an emphasis on his body–self experiencesand his personal progression as a climber. Through the use of metaphors, the themesof the “one man show,” the transition to an alpine leader or captain and the body–selfrelationship are explored here, with a particular focus on Garcia’s desire to maximizehis psychological and physical capacities in extreme and life-threatening conditions.The article concludes with some preliminary comments on the use of the narrativestructure as a methodological tool.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalJournal of Sport and Social Issues
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 2 Feb 2012

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