Coe, Sebastian (Part 3 of 4). An Oral History of British Athletics

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  • Subjects

    Athletics: Track

  • Recording date


  • Recording locations

    Conservative Central Office, London

  • Interviewees

    Coe, Sebastian, 1956- (speaker, male)

  • Interviewers

    Cutler, Rachel (speaker, female)

  • Abstract

    Part 3: 1981 - Season. Post Olympics aim was to enjoy the season. Set out to rewrite the record book - wanted the 800m and the mile world records. Motivated by the fact that there were no championships to prepare for - pressure off. Ran in Florence - achieved world record. Discussion of pressure on athletes - psychological and physical. Discusses in detail mental approach to competition. Oslo - broke 1000m record. Detail of these events - and the performances. Zurich - broke mile record. Ovett - broke mile few nights later and then week later in Brussels Coe broke mile record again. Describes the stadiums - which he enjoys. The transition from amateur to professional - received appearance money etc. Debate about 'shamateurism' - illicit payments. Debate between athletes, and at federation level. More about professionalism and maintaining an inclusiveness about international athletics. Amateurism. Sponsorship 1980s - relationship with athletics. Discusses how we Britain failed to maintain the success and high status/media interest in athletics after the 1980s high watermark. Administration of UK athletics. British fear of success. Tape 2 - Side A contd. Administration of sport in UK - all sports. National Institute for sport/Coaching and teaching sports resources/youth involvement. State involvement. Minister of Sport - accountability and responsibility. UK Athletics administration today. Discusses Moorcroft/Pascoe connection. Career 1981 - Won World Cup 800m. 1982 - Dominated by illness, which was to become toxic plasmosis, which kept him out of 1983 season. Mental impact of the illness. Media pressure - accusations of mental ill health etc. Treated for the condition with drugs, but didn't get back into competition until Christmas 1983. 1984 - felt well for first time in 2 years, this provided boost for the season. Olympic Games Los Angeles - selection process was badly organised and though Coe was beaten in a supposed 'run off' for 1500m against peter Elliott, Coe was still selected - so that he was attacked again by press. Coe says - race 'so bogus that he won it and I went.' Good story - following this race - includes a role for Andy Norman.

  • Description

    Interview with middle distance runner and Chair of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG) Lord Sebastian Coe

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