This is part one of a series on Seb Coe and the recent Zoom event he did with Lord Coe.
Awaiting The Baton In The Relay Exchange Zone – Profiles Of Athletes, Coaches & Legends During The War Against Corona
A Special Profile!
Olympic Legend, World Record Holder And World Athletics Chief Sebastian Coe!
By Jeff Benjamin
“I’m slightly sweating about that 2.6 challenge!,” said World Athletics President Sebastian Coe yesterday as his 45-Minute press conference via the world of teleconferencing in his British home was concluding.
“As soon as this is over I have 2 hours and 6 minutes to run on the treadmill,” said Coe, who is helping to raise funds for Greenhouse Sports Charity.
While one might wonder if Coe is sweating over other issues in, as he described, “A whole new world with slightly strange odd lives we are in right now,” the word “Challenge” is a concept he is not at all unfamiliar with.
One of the iconic Olympians, the 2-Time Olympic 1500 Gold Medalist (The only athlete ever to accomplish that feat!) and former 12-time world-record holder in events from 800 meters through the Mile, Coe has not only faced challenges in the sports arena, but in leadership and administration as well throughout his career.
A former member of the British Parliament, Coe later was instrumental in reorganizing the failing London Committee Bid to host the 2012 Olympic Games as London surprised New York City and other bidders to host those Games, which were a massive success.
Coe’s ascension to the leadership of the Sport worldwide has occurred with facing many challenges as well, as a “thinking outside the box” philosophy has taken hold in World Athletics.
From the recovery of scandals in past leadership, strengthening doping protocols without fear and sometimes taking on a whole country’s federation (Russia), Coe’s World Athletics has stepped up and is decisively steering the “Ship” in a solid and steady direction.
Even in the controversial molding of the many facets of Running/Track & Field to both satisfy old fans and include new ones in this new, 21st century technological bumpy world road-map, Coe, just like in a Track race, has been right in the middle of it, trying to do things both delicately and sometimes “elbowing” his way if need be for his beloved Sport of which he once said “I would die in a ditch for.”
How is your daily training/coaching/work routine doing and how challenging has it been for you in this environment?
“I’m a paper & pen guy so it’s been a massive learning curve for me with the Ipad and laptop…My days start off early with meetings from staff to World Federations..I started my first conference call at 6:45 AM this morning (A nod to the various time zones)…There are conference calls with the Executive Board, council meetings, Athlete Boards along with the 90-odd members in Monaco.
I do try to workout daily…We have a “Covid-Connect” group where we do virtual working out together as well as share things…As a Jazz fan there was music there where I did a workout with 2 of my kids along with Zumba and also cooked a Sri Lankan Delicacy!”
“I’m no different than anyone else…It’s tough for a lot of people out there…You never want to lose that face-to-face encounter.”
What advice can you give to runners, -especially youth, high school, collegiate- who are challenged during this time as well.
“My advice to young athletes is that this is temporary…In the past athletes have always bounced back and from a lot worse….as a History person I’d recommend that you become students of the Sport…Just learn and try to understand the “Odysseys of Athletes Of The Past”…
By the time I was in my early 20’s I had read every book out there on every World Record Holder in the Mile…I strongly remember reading Cordner Nelson’s great biography of Jim Ryun, who we hosted at our Mile event last Fall with the other great legends.”
“I had failed to win the 1980 Olympic 800 in Moscow (For Which Coe Was Pilloried by Fans and Press alike) and, had I not read about Jim’s challenges – the altitude in 1968 and his fall in 1972 – Where I believe Jim would have won Gold in Munich-I would not have been able to bounce back to win the 1500 Gold a few days later…He is Inspirational!
“No day is wasted in reading our Sport’s history and getting inspired to realize you are NOT alone!”
Bell Lap – to learn more about Seb’s 5 day-challenge fundraiser participation and perhaps contribute go to –