Greenland’s Elite Sport System: Capabilities, Challenges and Performance of a (Very) Small Nation in the World’s Largest Island
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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Research into the development and competitiveness of national elite sport systems has grown significantly in recent years. Most research concerns large or medium-sized nations whereas studies of elite sport systems in small nations are notably absent. This paper focuses on a (very) small nation and its efforts to become competitive in international elite sport. Using the nine pillars of the SPLISS framework, the study assesses the strengths and weaknesses of Greenland’s elite sport system. From a pure results perspective, Greenland performs below expectations. This is partly the result of its climatic and geographical conditions and low population density. The case study of elite sport in Greenland has intrinsic value in its analysis of a nation with extreme conditions in this respect. The case study is also used to suggest general conclusions regarding the capabilities and limitations of elite sport systems in small nations.