LAUSANNE, March 9, 2009 – London 2012 Organising Committee Chairman and Vice-president of the IAAF, Sebastian Coe is passionate about athletics and has recently called for the “spectacle” of athletics to be revived, warning: “if we don’t change we die.”
The former athlete will address the 72nd AIPS Congress in Milan (April 29 – May 3) on Preparations for the 2012 London Olympics and The Future of Athletics.
Coe, who will speak to the Congress on May 1, is a double Olympic Champion and 12-time world record holder. He won gold in the 1500m and silver in the 800m at both the Moscow 1980 and Los Angeles 1984 Games and retired from competitive athletics in 1990 to follow a career in politics. In 2002 he was made a Peer – Lord Coe of Ranmore, and in 2006 was knighted by Queen Elizabeth.
“Athletics is a strong sport - it's global, it's men and women - but it's not a game, one team against another, and it faces challenges," Coe recently told The Observer.
“If tennis can have Federer and Nadal going up against each other several times a year, we need to have Usain Bolt running against Asafa Powell more than twice a year,” The Observer reported Coe as saying.
On March 2 the IAAF announced a new circuit of elite Athletics Meetings known as the “IAAF Diamond League” starting in 2010.
A replacement for the current ÅF Golden League of 6 meetings, the Diamond League will take elite meetings outside Europe for the first time.