This article focuses on the issue of old-age masculinities by exploring if and how the process of growing old affects the gendered self-images of Swedish old male athletes. It follows the grounded theory research design of Kathy Charmaz and is based on interviews with nine athletes aged 68 to 90. The findings in this article indicate that the athletes withdraw from the masculine practice of competitive sports because it is not considered to be age-appropriate. The men seem to reconstruct their self-images in accordance with four old-age masculinity themes: being physically active, being a leader, being a busy senior, and being a family man. The concept of successful aging is found to be particularly significant in reshaping the men’s self-images. Therefore, this article proposes a combination of the concepts of hegemonic masculinity and successful aging in order to increase the understanding of old-age masculinities.
old athletes, successful aging, old-age masculinities