Unmatched runner, organiser of the London 2012 Olympic Games, life peer in the House of Lords and current chair of the International Amateur Athletics Federation, Seb Coe, now Lord Coe of Ranmore, is a legend in the world of athletics.
A promising youngster who developed his talents while at Loughborough University, Seb Coe rose to fame during the early eighties, with his famous duels against fellow British middle distance runner, Steve Ovett, capturing the public’s imagination. At the Moscow Olympics, each won the event the other was expected to win, with Coe settling for silver in his favoured 800m and taking gold in the 1500. They maintained their battle for several years, yet Coe maintained his silver/gold double at the next Olympics in Los Angeles in 1984.
A prolific record setter, Seb Coe set three world records, 800m, mile and 1500m in just 41 days in 1979, famously setting the mile record, losing it to Ovett and regaining it again in the space of just nine days that August. His 800m record, set in 1981, stood unbeaten for 16years, and Coe did not lose a 1500m or mile final from September 1976 to June 1983.
Following his retirement, Coe was elected MP for Falmouth and Cranborne in 1992, and made a life peer in 2000. He was also private secretary to William Hague, the conservative leader, between 1997 and 2001, and president of the AAA from 2000 to 2004.
He took on a sporting challenge of an altogether different kind when he headed the London Olympic bid, bringing the games to Britain despite strong competition from Paris and Madrid. He remained as chair of the Organising Committee, presenting what is known as one of the best Olympics of modern times in 2012.
Coe was appointed Vice President of the IAAF in 2007 and defeated Sergey Bubka to become President in 2015. He continues to work hard, using his diplomatic skills, to repair the reputation of athletics following the widespread drugs scandals of recent years.
MBE, OBE, KBE and Companion of Honour, Coe was also 1979 Sports Personality of the Year and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the BBC in 2012.
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