Coe's Olympic memories - thanks to DVD box set

19 July 2013 / 08:17

Lord Coe guided the London 2012 Olympic project from inception to delivery - so perhaps a Christmas gift of the DVD box set of last summer's storied Games showed a certain lack of imagination.

But Coe, who took over as chairman of the British Olympic Association last November, was so caught up in the whirlwind of his job, there were moments stained on the sporting consciousness from last year that he'd never properly seen.

And, ahead of next week's one year on anniversary, he is finally ready to look back and reflect.

"I watched the box set at Christmas, one of my kids gave me it," he said.

"It was actually the first time I'd seen the opening ceremony in full, although I'd obviously watched the rehearsals and lived with it as it grew. I just thought it was fantastic, it's got things in it for everybody.

"I didn’t feel a great come down when it was all over last year, the overwhelming sensation was one of relief, the relief that you haven’t let people down and the nation wasn’t sitting there holding its head in its hands.

"I did enjoy it, I enjoyed everything about last year and enjoyed pretty much everything over the seven to eight years. Some days it was just hard pounding, it was like athletics really, you know some days you have to get up do your mileage before breakfast and your back in the gym at lunchtime and back on the track in an evening. 

"In the job you just don’t have long to reflect because stuff comes at you so thick and fast. Four to five years out you are dealing with 30-40 things a day, in the last two weeks you feel like you’re dealing with 100-200 things every few minutes.

"I guess you don’t get to reflect on whether you enjoy it or not at the time, it’s like being in the boiler room of the ship I guess."

David Rudisha, who lowered the world record in the 800m event Coe made his own a generation ago, remains his stand-out performance of the Games.

But Coe also believes Jess Ennis's heptathlon victory could have a lasting impact in getting more girls involved in sport.

"Being completely objective, I didn't see anything that rivalled Rudisha's performance. I’m no great expert on some of the sports and I’m sure there someone that can make a great case for that extraordinary succession of lifts in weightlifting or displays in the gymnastics hall," he added. 

"But for something I do understand, and in an event I know more about than anyone living, that was the performance of the Games.

"I also loved the boxing. Everyone focussed on rowing and cycling but the performance of our boxers, you will wait a long time to see a better British boxing team, some of those fights were sensational. 

"We talk a lot about Dave Brailsford and Dave Tanner but Robert McCracken’s job as the performance director of British Boxing was just fantastic."

© Sportsbeat 2013