Lord Coe to become Olympics legacy ambassador

Locog chair accepts David Cameron’s offer of a role designed to help Britain reap rewards from London 2012

Lord Coe, the London 2012 organising committee chairman, has accepted an offer from the prime minister to become a “legacy ambassador” for the Games.

The as-yet-undefined role will focus on ensuring British businesses reap the rewards of hosting the Games.

“Capitalising on everything we’ve witnessed in the last fortnight and in the last seven years is going to be important,” he said. “The prime minister asked if I would help in that process and I said, of course. The role, we will work that out. It’s very important we able to leverage every ounce, economic, social and sporting benefit.”

Coe has previously promised to keep the pressure on local and national government to deliver the pledges around sports participation, young people and redevelopment that helped secure the Olympics in the first place.

Earlier this week, he pleaded with politicians to treat sensitively the complex issues around school sport and inspiring more young people to play sport.

Until recently, the double Olympic gold medallist and former Tory MP has steadfastly refused to be drawn publicly on his post-Games plans.

But on the eve of the Games he confirmed what had been an open secret in sports administration circles by saying he would like to become the next president of the International Athletics Federation.

However, the position does not become vacant until 2015 when Lamine Diackis expected to step down. That would give Coe a route on to the International Olympic Committee and an eventual tilt at a berth on its executive committee and, ultimately, the presidency.

Although he will face competition from former Ukrainian pole vaulter Sergey Bubka among others, he would, if he became president, be in the post when the world athletics championships came to the Olympic stadium in 2017.

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