Sebastian Coe is a British politician and former track and field athlete. As a middle-distance runner, Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.
He set nine outdoor and three indoor world records in middle-distance track events – including, in 1979, setting three world records in the space of 41 days – and the world record he set in the 800 metres in 1981 remained unbroken until 1997.
Coe’s rivalries with fellow Britons Steve Ovett and Steve Cram dominated middle-distance racing for much of the 1980s.
Following Coe’s retirement from athletics, he was a member of parliament for the Conservative Party from 1992 to 1997 for Falmouth in Cornwall, and became a Life Peer on 16 May 2000.
He headed the successful London bid to host the 2012 Summer Olympics and became chairman of the London Organising Committee for the Olympic Games.
In 2007, he was elected a vice-president of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), and re-elected for another four-year term in 2011. In August 2015, he was elected president of the IAAF.
In 2012, Coe was appointed Pro-Chancellor at Loughborough University where he had been an undergraduate, and is also a member of the University’s governing body.
He was of one of 24 athletes inducted as inaugural members of the IAAF Hall of Fame. In November 2012, he was appointed chairman of the British Olympic Association. Coe was presented with the Lifetime Achievement award at the BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December 2012.
- Full name: Sebastian Newbold Coe, Baron Coe, CH, KBE, Hon FRIBA, often referred to as Seb Coe or Lord Coe
- Profession: Member of Parliament and Former track and field athlete
- Born: 29 September 1956 (age 63 years), Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, London
- Height: 1.75 m
- Children: Alice India Violet Coe, Peter Henry Christopher Coe, Madeleine Rose Coe, Harry Sebastian Newbold Coe
- Spouse: Carole Annett (m. 2011), Nicky McIrvine (m. 1990–2002)
- Gold medals: Athletics at the 1984 Summer Olympics – Men’s 1500 metres
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About Sebastian Coe
Coe was born on 29 September 1956 at Queen Charlotte’s and Chelsea Hospital, Hammersmith, London, England.
His mother, Tina Angela Lal, was of half Indian descent, born to a Punjabi father, Sardari Lal Malhotra, and an English/Irish mother, Vera (née Swan).
Coe moved to Warwickshire when he was less than a year old where he attended Bridgetown Primary School and Hugh Clopton Secondary School in Stratford-upon-Avon.
The family then moved to Sheffield where he attended Tapton Secondary Modern School, Crosspool which became a Comprehensive School when he was there and Abbeydale Grange school.
He joined athletics team Hallamshire Harriers at the age of 12, and soon became a middle-distance specialist, having been inspired by David Jackson, a geography teacher at Tapton School who had been a cross-country runner and eventually its school captain when he was a pupil at King Edward VII School Sheffield.
Coe was coached by his father and represented Loughborough University and later Haringey when not competing for his country.
Coe studied Economics and Social History at Loughborough University and won his first major race in 1977—an 800 metres event at the European indoor championships in San Sebastián, Spain.
It was at Loughborough University that he met athletics coach George Gandy who had developed “revolutionary” conditioning exercises to improve Coe’s running.
His mother, Tina Angela Lal, died in London, in 2005, aged 75. His father, Peter Coe, died on 9 August 2008, aged 88, while Coe was visiting Beijing.