07 November 2012 / 16:18

A highly respected international sport leader who was the driving force behind the successful London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will now serve as Chairman of the British Olympic Association (BOA).

The 43 members of the National Olympic Committee have today voted by acclamation to elect Lord Sebastian Coe, the leader of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, as the next Chairman of the BOA.

Lord Coe, a double Olympic gold medallist, stood unopposed and will serve a four year term as BOA Chairman, beginning today. Coe succeeds Lord Colin Moynihan, who announced in August this year his decision to step down from the position following seven years of leadership.

The mission of the British Olympic Association is to transform lives through the power of the Olympic values and the success of Team GB. Following the conclusion of the exceptional London 2012 Games, that mission has never been more important and relevant than it is today.

As Chairman of the BOA, Lord Coe will lead the BOA Board in mapping out the future direction of the organisation and making certain that Team GB athletes have the resources, preparation and support they need to continue to excel in the forthcoming Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games and Rio 2016 Olympic Games.

Under the leadership of Lord Coe, the 1980 and 1984 Olympic 1500 metres champion, the BOA will work collaboratively with partners across government, sport and the private sector to ensure the inspiration of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games translates into a legacy that benefits every level of sport in the UK for generations to come.

Lord Coe is one of the UK’s most distinguished Olympians. During his outstanding athletic career the Loughborough University graduate won four Olympic medals – two gold and two silver – and broke world records on eleven occasions. He served as a Member of Parliament from 1992-1997 and became a life Peer in 2000. Lord Coe spearheaded the successful bid for London to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games and continued as Chairman of LOCOG, delivering what many regard as the most successful Olympic and Paralympic Games of all time.

Lord Coe’s Chairmanship of the BOA will complement his role as Olympics Legacy Ambassador to the Government, a position to which he was appointed by the Prime Minister David Cameron in August 2012. Lord Coe is also a Vice President of the International Association of Athletics Federations and continues in his role as LOCOG Chairman.

During his seven year tenure as BOA Chairman Lord Moynihan oversaw the continued evolution of the BOA into a strong, professional and modern organisation, which enjoys a position of respect and influence in international sport. Lord Moynihan led a significant expansion in the benefits and services delivered to sport National Governing Bodies and athletes. He was responsible for the creation of the BOA Athletes’ Commission and fought strongly to continually reinforce the organisation’s firm stance with regard to anti-doping.

Under Lord Moynihan’s leadership, Team GB produced the best results at a summer Olympic Games for over a century, winning 47 medals at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and an outstanding 65 medals on home soil at the London 2012 Games.

The 43-member National Olympic Committee is comprised of one representative from each of the summer and winter sport National Governing Bodies (34); the four British members of the International Olympic Committee; the Chair and two Vice Chairs of the BOA; and two members of the Athletes’ Commission.

BOA Chairman Lord Coe said: “Following the tremendous impact of the London 2012 Games, the BOA has an important role to play in ensuring the growth of the Olympic Movement throughout the UK and the continued success and support of Team GB at future Olympic Games.

“I believe the BOA is uniquely positioned to work collaboratively with partners across government and sport to ensure there is a meaningful legacy resulting from the London 2012 Games – a legacy that positively impacts every level of sport and continues to inspire young people around the UK to choose sport. I am committed to making sure the benefits of hosting the Olympic and Paralympic Games are maximised and this role gives me an excellent platform to continue to serve and promote British Olympic sport, both in the UK, and globally.”

Lord Moynihan said: “I am delighted that Seb will be my successor as Chair of the BOA. He is absolutely the right person, at this important time, to drive the organisation forward and strive to ensure the sports legacy of the London 2012 Games is fully delivered by the various stakeholders. Seb has been a good friend and colleague since we first competed together in the Moscow 1980 Olympic Games and his leadership offers the organisation the chance to continue to go from strength to strength.

“I am very proud of what we have achieved at the BOA over the past seven years and I would like to thank the members of the Board and my colleagues at the National Governing Bodies and sport stakeholders for their support and cooperation during this unique and special era for British Olympic sport.

“Upon joining the BOA my objectives were to implement a professional support structure for our National Governing Bodies, instil a performance driven culture, and to become an athlete-centric, athlete-focused organisation. The results achieved by Team GB at the Beijing and London Olympic Games were truly remarkable, and will go down as some of the proudest moments of my life.”

IOC President Jacques Rogge said: “I congratulate the BOA for picking a winner. We all know about Seb’s sporting excellence and now thanks to the London Games we all know what a great leader he was of a hugely successful Games. He will no doubt bring that success and experience to the BOA and at the same time continue to ensure that the sporting legacy from London 2012 continues into the future. He follows Colin who worked tirelessly to ensure British sport and British sportsmen and women got the support and recognition that helped make London 2012 a great British success story.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Seb Coe demonstrated inspirational leadership in delivering the best ever Olympic and Paralympic Games this summer and as a double Olympic gold medallist himself there can be no better choice for BOA chairman. He fully understands the support that athletes and sports governing bodies need in this country.

“Combined with his role as the Government’s legacy ambassador Seb will play a crucial part in maximising the benefits from London 2012, helping our athletes achieve gold in Rio and British businesses win new trade and investment deals.”

Minister for Sport Hugh Robertson said: “Lord Moynihan leaves office having led the BOA over a period of unprecedented success at the Beijing and London Games. His priority, as a former Olympic medallist himself, was always the athletes whose interests he tirelessly championed. I wish him all the best for the future.

“There can be no better successor than Lord Coe - the only man to have achieved two gold medals in one of the Olympics’ most iconic events, won the bid for and delivered an incredible Summer Games. His leadership will enable the BOA to capitalise on the fantastic opportunities coming out of a home Olympics.” 

BOA Chief Executive Andy Hunt said: “The election of Seb Coe as Chair of the BOA is a very exciting and significant landmark for the organisation. Seb is one of the most widely respected figures in international sport and the outstanding success of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games is a tribute to his exceptional vision, leadership and dedication. The senior management team will benefit greatly from Seb’s vast experience and we look forward to working with him and the entire Board in developing and implementing the 2013-2016 strategy.

“Colin has been a tremendous servant to the BOA for the past seven years. He has led a vital transformation of the organisation and leaves behind a very strong management structure, robust systems and processes and a high performance culture which places the interests of the athletes at the heart of all our decision making.”

BOA Athletes’ Commission Chair Sarah Winckless said: “During his career on the track Seb Coe was an inspirational and hugely successful British athlete. He is now an equally inspirational sports leader and on behalf of the BOA Athletes’ Commission I am delighted that he has chosen to take up the leadership of this organisation.

“The feedback from athletes who participated in the London 2012 Games was that the athlete experience was exceptional and we will be working closely with the BOA senior management and Board to ensure the views of the athletes continue to be at the heart of the future direction of the BOA.”

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