Mile News

Lunch with the FT: Sebastian Coe

November 02, 2012

The former Olympics organising committee chairman on sport, politics and why Sepp Blatter is ‘actually quite thoughtful’

By Gideon Rachman, Financial Times

I can remember exactly where I was when Sebastian Coe won gold at the 1984 Olympic Games. It was a hotel lobby in the city of Trabzon in eastern Turkey, and I was transfixed by the television behind the reception desk. In distant Los Angeles, the slight figure of Coe was streaking away from the field, becoming the only man ever to win the 1500 meters at successive Olympics.

Now, almost three decades later, I am sitting in a restaurant in Chelsea, waiting for Lord Coe, as he now is, to arrive for lunch. Most great athletes drop out of the public eye when their sporting careers come to an end. But Coe is once again a hero in Britain, after chairing the organising committee for the London Olympics. The games went far better than many Britons had dared hope – and Coe is basking in public approval. His memoirs are being published, just in time for the Christmas market.

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