Many young Canadian athletes seek athletic scholarships from universities and colleges in the United States that will enable them to become student athletes. Among parents, coaches, and children who are involved in Canadian youth sports, a commonly encountered discourse characterizes athletic scholarships as offering beneficial opportunities, including playing American intercollegiate sports, earning an education, and living abroad. From a young age, Canadian athletes witness this discourse and it becomes a part of their lived experiences, especially should they attain “the dream” of winning an athletic scholarship and going to the U.S. as a student athlete. Drawing on original ethnographic research conducted in Boston, MA and the surrounding area, this thesis critically examines what “living the dream” involves for some student athletes and considers the dialectical relationship between their actual experiences and the popular discourse that both shapes and is sometimes contradicted by the realities of these young Canadians’ lives.
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