Sport, entertainment and the live(d) experience of cheering

Kath Bicknell*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sport is readily thought of as entertainment in the context of both live events and individual practice. Both experiences are widely consumed, produce excitement, satisfaction and a great sense of fun among participants. This paper uses phenomenological and anthropological methods to look at the embodied relationship between athletes and cheering at cross-country mountain bike events to investigate the experience of sport understood as both entertainment and skilled performance practice by both athletes and spectators alike. This work also allows for better understandings of the rehearsal processes of other types of popular entertainment, such as circus or dance, which also have a rigorous physical component in their development and execution but may not have an audience as vocal or articulate during the time of the performance as that on the sporting field.1 Kath Bicknell is a PhD candidate with the Department of Performance Studies at the University of Sydney. Her research interests include embodied performance, audience-performer relationships and sports phenomenology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)96-111
Number of pages16
JournalPopular Entertainment Studies
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • audience
  • embodied performance
  • John MacAloon
  • John Sutton
  • mountain biking
  • spectating
  • sport


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