Former Olympic star and record-setting middle distance runner Sebastian Coe is running for IAAF presidency this year and is talking about getting cross- country back on the Olympic program. He wants to see it put in the winter Olympics.
“One of the things that has worried me in the past few years is I don’t think a lot of younger coaches realize how important cross-country is,” he says adding that that is impacting the number of athletes doing the sport on an international level. He thinks that athletes are well able to compete in track and cross-country in the same season despite what some coaches would have them believe.
“I would love to see cross-country back in the Olympic program,” says Coe. Specifically, he suggests adding it to the winter Olympics since it would benefit African nations that don’t get typical winter weather conducive to winter sports.
Coe is a well-known middle-distance runner who won four Olympic medals and set eight world records. He was a staple in the running scene in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s running the 800m, 1,500m and one mile. In 1979, he set his first world records in the 800m and one mile. His Olympic career kicked off in 1980 in Oslo, Norway where he won gold in the 1,500m.
His career shifted to a political one where he served as a conservative member of the House of Commons from 1992 to 1997. In 2003, Coe joined the IAAF council. In 2005, he became the chair of the London Organizing Commons for the Olympics.