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#3 Lord Sebastian Coe

Name: Lord Sebastian Coe
Institution(s): Loughborough University
Achievement: IAAF President and Olympic Gold Medallist, 1980 & 1984 

The sporting world hangs on Lord Coe’s every word – and when you listen, it’s likely he’ll mention Loughborough University and his formative experiences as a British student-athlete.

Coe is a two-time Olympic gold medallist cum esteemed administrator who owes a lot of his success to Loughborough.

The London 2012 master builder, who graduated from Loughborough in Economics and Social History in 1979, credits university sport with harnessing his track passion.

“Loughborough University seems to have been part of my life for about as long as I remember,” said the 62-year-old,

“Whilst my love of athletics started in school it was at Loughborough that I began to realise my full potential.

“They provided the support of world class coaches and sport scientists who worked alongside my coach and father to help me achieve my goals.”

Coe met athletics coach George Gandy at the East Midlands institution, latching onto his ‘revolutionary’ conditioning exercises during his time as a student-athlete.

The middle-distance ace won his first international race in 1977, as a student-athlete, breaking a UK national record in winning gold at the European Athletics Indoor Championships in San Sebastian.

Grabbing 1500m glory in Moscow and Los Angeles in 1980 and 1984, and later becoming a European champion, Coe entered sporting folklore for his rivalry with fellow countryman Steve Ovett.

But despite a distinguished career that saw him set 12 world records, it would be his work in the boardroom that would change so many lives.

He played the fundamental role in bringing the Olympics back to London in 2012 and is now the spearhead of world athletes as the president of the IAAF.

There will always be a part of Coe in the East Midlands – he remains a close friend and supported of the University and is its Chancellor.

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