Seb Coe, IAAF Gala, 2013, photo from PhotoRun.net
In a battle between two of the sport’s most enduring stars, Seb Coe won his bid for IAAF Presidency over Sergey Bubka, 115-92. In a speech that came right before the vote, Seb Coe noted that this may be his “last race” and that he was made for this job. So true.
In his first press conference after being named IAAF President, which actually begins right after the ceremony, on August 30, 2015, where the flag from IAAF is handed to London 2017, Seb Coe will officially become IAAF President.
Coe comes into this position in a fascinating evolution: from schoolboy runner to world record holder, from two time Olympic 800 meter silver medalist to two time Olympic 1,500m gold medalist, to former Member of Parliment. His victory, with his team and PM Tony Blair for London 2012, was and is as amazing as his second 1,500 meter gold medal, in this writer’s mind.
And now comes the job “he was made to do.” Taking a sport, thirty-three centuries old, dragging and screaming into the modern age of sports and media entertainment. For Seb Coe, he will be judged on how he takes the world’s oldest sport and develops an effective independent drug testing program and process. The perception is, and it does not matter what the reality is, as most are not writing about that, is that the sport has fallen behind the cheaters.
Athletics is held to a higher standard, mostly because, it is so universal. It is our blessing and our curse. If Seb Coe, in the next decade, can tackle the stench of drugs, overhaul our schedule and open the marketing of the sport to truly global partners and not just ones located in Japan or on Dentu’s current portfolio, then he will have, quite frankly, saved the sport from a slow demise.
The following audio is the entire presser from August 19, 2015. RunBlogRun and the RunningNetwork heartily congratulate Seb Coe and wish him the very best. Our sport’s future rest, quite frankly, in this man’s hands and heart. We wish him well and god speed.
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