July 20th, 2011
05:54 PM ET

Ask Seb Coe your London 2012 questions ...

Have a question for Seb Coe? This is your chance to get answers from the main man behind the London 2012 Olympics.
Have a question for Seb Coe? This is your chance to get answers from the main man behind the London 2012 Olympics.

July 27 is a significant day for London: it marks one year until arguably the greatest spectacle in global sport takes place in the British capital.

Beginning with the symbolic lighting of the flame, and enduring for 19 days until it is extinguished, nation will fight nation across 26 sports and 39 disciplines in pursuit of the coveted haul of gold medals on offer.

The drama, emotion and enchantment of the Olympic Games is enough to capture imaginations across the planet as the story of athletic ambition unfolds. London will be the backdrop to an event which will undoubtedly test previous records as the most watched event of all time.

To be the man charged with delivering the Games to such high expectations is a role few would welcome and even fewer could pull off, but for Sebastian Coe - former 1,500-meter world record-holder, double Olympic gold medallist and British lawmaker - it is his day job.

The 54-year-old, who led the successful bid which saw London chosen by the International Olympic Association (IOC) over Paris and Madrid as hosts, has been project-manager supreme preparing a sprawling city of millions to welcome the world in celebration of track and field.

Challenges he has faced include the controversial ticketing system, the race to upgrade London's infrastructures and the daunting task of following the 2008 extravaganza put on by Beijing.

CNN spoke to Coe on July 25 ahead of the "One year to go" countdown, and asked the 2012 chief some of your questions. Thank you to all those who responded.

The interview will be shown on World Sport on Wednesday July 27.

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Filed under:  Olympics
soundoff (27 Responses)
  1. Sue McCann

    Are you sponsoring a Drawing wherein the winner receives an offer of 1 MIL for the selection of their email?

    G. Sue McCann

    July 20, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  2. Bradley Anstead

    Lord Coe, What a privalege to ask you a question. I'm wondering about the Olympic Marathon course and the challenges you faced with traffic.

    Your legend and stride inspired me, your pictures adorned my walls. London 2012 will do the same, I'm quite sure.

    July 21, 2011 at 4:18 am | Reply
  3. Chris Meakin


    Dear Lord Coe:
    As I fellow Sheffielder I am lost in admiration for the remarkable way you have organised so much rain to bed the Olympic turf in to perfection! I see you laid the last piece in the Spring : all it then needed is lots of rain. You must be delighted by the deluges so far, especially after all those promises of drought. More seriously, the Organising Committee has been quite brilliant in ensuring the main facilities are virtually complete a year and more ahead of the events. I had ma doots when my local MP Tessa Jowell here in Dulwich signed the contracts, but I have been proved wrong. Let's just hope you survive the nail-biting final run-in as well as you have survived so far.
    Chris Meakin
    Dulwich SE21, but born in Sheffield

    July 21, 2011 at 7:57 am | Reply
  4. Michael Joyce

    Lord Coe,

    Why did you decide to pursue such a simplistic method for allocating tickets. My application was for around 40 tickets, and I got none. The bet high to win low tactic that people mentioned is a sign that you got it wrong. Something as simple as the ability to say I want to spend up to £1000, on the events in the following order: 1. 100m Mens Final, 2. Opening Ceremony 3. etc etc, would have ensure a much more even spread of tickets. Maybe your system was designed to recognize it would be far easier to quell the majority that didn't win than a minority that felt really hard done by.

    I didn't bother after the first round, as I have gone off London 2012, and now feel it should have gone to Paris. What a waste of my taxes.

    July 21, 2011 at 2:23 pm | Reply
  5. Justin Vieira

    Thank you for giving me the opportunity to ask you a question Lord Coe.

    The rising cost of hosting an Olympic games has made it both a financial and economic risk for both the city and country that the games will be held in. In 2004, after the Athens games; many of the stadiums and venues went into disrepair and were abandoned. This caused many to question the financial benefit of hosting such an event after Athens and Greece were left "Holding the bag" so to say. How will the 2012 Olympics leave both a economic and infrastructural legacy in London for both her people, and the people of Great Britain?

    Justin Vieira. New Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

    July 21, 2011 at 2:42 pm | Reply
  6. Bolton Browne

    What does Lord Coe think about Lord Bates' Walk for Truce?

    Does he think a celebratory concert is in order?

    July 22, 2011 at 12:38 am | Reply
  7. Kentry Alexander

    Mr. Coe is there in your view any lesson for aspiring managers and executives on the path through university and the strengths provided by a winning mentality and how they serve as a platform to motivate others.

    July 22, 2011 at 5:37 am | Reply
  8. K Schwan

    Skateboarding is considered between the third and sixth most popular sport in the world now. Why is it not being considered for inclusion in the Olympics? I've heard that it's not even going to be a demonstration sport. With BMX included, it would seem that at least one of the disciplines of skateboarding (vert, perhaps, since it is more disciplined and less subjective) would be considered on a trial basis. What is your opinion on that?

    July 22, 2011 at 3:01 pm | Reply
  9. Jeffrey McCall

    I have been a massive Olympics fan my entire life. I shared the excitement when London was awarded the 2012 Olympics and have been counting the years, months and days until the grand Opening Ceremony. Sadly those feelings and that countdown no longer exist due to my extreme disappoint with the ticketing allocation fiasco. Like so many others, I applied for approximately £2000 worth of tickets. I checked my bank account daily hoping to see a deduction. No surprise, I got nothing in the lottery. As a result I no longer have any interest and plan to be away from London during next summer's games. How sad that a more equitable process couldn't have been implemented resulting in many more thousand local Olympic 'ambassadors' rather than 'new' detractors.

    July 22, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Reply
  10. adu-gyamfi gudeon

    i wanna know the proceedure involved in acquiring a ticket.

    July 22, 2011 at 4:16 pm | Reply
  11. Patti Kerr

    Can you assure us that visitors and commuters will not have problems with transport particularly the underground system. Could you also explain who thought it was a smart idea to suggest that Londoners to try to work from home or go on holiday during the Olympics (see Evening Standard). This certainly made me feel that the transport system was fragile

    July 22, 2011 at 4:54 pm | Reply
  12. Halldor Sigurdsson

    Looking forward to seeing the London Olympics next year.
    I can not be there but i will be glued to the tv.
    and the question is : Will the most famous man in the United Kingdom be in the opening ceremony , mr James Bond.

    July 22, 2011 at 7:59 pm | Reply
  13. David Gross

    Dear Lord Coe,

    Thank you first of all, for all of your hard work in preparing London for what I am sure will be the finest Olympics yet!
    Secondly, my thanks to you for being such an inspiration to me as a runner and athlete.
    My question is what is the likelihood of Cross Country running returning to the Olympics in the near future, and would you be willing to help this come to about?

    July 23, 2011 at 5:59 am | Reply
  14. Ian Williamson

    Does Seb Coe have a clue about the shambolic process he has overseen for selling tickets for the event? It is a sick joke!

    July 23, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  15. Debbie O

    Alright seb mate,here's my question my brother..... Do you think the money that's being wasted on the olympics would be better off spent on hospitals,homing the homeless,and feeding the starving.

    July 23, 2011 at 8:01 pm | Reply
  16. PRINCE charles

    Dear Lord Coe
    i want to know what are the visa process for someone coming for the olympics oris it the same process when applying for visiting ou business....
    please let me know what and what to get when applying for visas for the olympics games very important

    July 24, 2011 at 1:22 am | Reply
  17. Tom Miller

    How much debt has been made to host 2012 olympics?

    July 24, 2011 at 9:27 am | Reply
  18. Mikko

    I would like to ask about British teams in team sports. There are some problems or peculiarities because normally you have own teams for England, Scotland, Wales and the Northern Ireland.
    If I have understood right you have genuine British teams in basketball. But your football teams are really a team England although it´s official name is team Great Britain. Right? What about other team sports volleyball, handball, field hockey and water polo?

    Anyway let´s imagine that some Scottish football player would say that I wanna play in London Olympics if I am good enouhg player in couch opinion? I mean it might be a discrimination if (s)he couldn´t play only because (s)he is a Scottish.

    What kind of conversation there have been in Britain about this question?
    (Sorry my English is not very fluent but I hope you get my points.)

    July 24, 2011 at 3:45 pm | Reply
  19. Tom

    Given that it is easier for Britons to get the tickets that they actually want by going through a French website rather than the much-criticised British ballot system, has the organising committee sought to identify any similar problems looming for the Games in the near future?

    July 25, 2011 at 3:36 am | Reply
  20. ovwigho

    May God bless and help the man in sponsoring. Dear sir,i want to school in London but no access yet.

    July 25, 2011 at 4:23 am | Reply
  21. Melfie

    The Olympics are a joke, starting with an organising committee who is supposed to deliver the ideals of the Olympic Movement, which includes upholding ethics in sport. When you hire people who have no personal ethics of their own, how can expect the organising committee to deliver on that? How do you rationalise to yourself, and to the tax payers, that you employ people who lie, cheat and live unethical lives? If you did any thorough background checks of your top staff, you would find, as I know from personal experience, that some of your staff have less than stellar pasts. The Olympic brand is holistic; you can't say you will deliver the supreme ideal when you are rotten on the inside.

    July 25, 2011 at 2:38 pm | Reply
  22. Nathan Awuzie

    I believe that the London Olympic will be an extraordinary game, and colourful presentation. Preparing since how many years and 1 more year left to prepare usher perfection.

    July 27, 2011 at 1:13 am | Reply
  23. Stefanson

    Hopefully the London Games will be a lot more fun than this interview with their staid and guarded chief organiser. What a stiff! Give me his old track rival, Steve Ovett, any day, at least he had some personality. It didn't help that the interviewer pussyfooted around Lord Coe like his personal butler. Respect is one thing, but serving up softball questions, qualified by the fact that they were sent in by viewers, is lame enough, but then failing to press him with harder hitting follow-ups was cowardly. Ticketing issues? - "Tough luck." Transport worries? - "Too bad, dedal with it."...Economic concerns –" Thank your lucky stars you're getting anything." Seb Coe is a politician and was allowed to give politicians answers that diplomatically told Londoners to shove it! I wouldn't have minded, but he couldn't even muster a smile while he did it. Poor show CNN, and Seb, I suggest you spend the final year before the Games in charm school.

    July 27, 2011 at 10:58 pm | Reply
  24. Peter Beck Christiansen


    I am old fan of yours and gratulation with the work carried out in the olympic spirit. However you are being drowned in your old success.
    I went to Barcelona 1992 and spent a week and witrnessed horse jumping, basketball and the two last days on the stadium (with Carl Lewis etc) Great. We applied for tickets to horse jumping (one day) basketball (quarterfinals), track and field (3 days) To fill up the time we added two days of swimming. Total for two persons 3300 pounds. However we only got tickets for one day of the swimming. Nothing else.
    We are not going to London for one day!! Please tell me how to sell my tickets. I am deeply disappointed. Peter

    July 30, 2011 at 1:48 pm | Reply
  25. Tony

    what the suprise and amaze show!!!!

    August 4, 2011 at 12:22 am | Reply
  26. Gerray Thomas

    Hi. The Olympic Park looks amazing and I'd like to know how soon I can buy tickets, in advance of the Games, to go 'in' and see the place – canals, floral-areas, arenas & venues, etc.. How soon and how much?

    August 4, 2011 at 9:10 pm | Reply
  27. Jim Wood

    My question concerns the increasing size and costs of the olympics which preclude the games going to smaller nations.

    Why not split the games in four; winter, water, field, indoor and have a games every year. They would still rotate every 4 years but be slightly smaller, less costly and more specialist.

    Just a thought but unlikely to happen in what is left of my lifetime as I am somewhat ancient. Incidentally I live in Germany now but originate from Beffnal Green...what have you done with all those football pitches on Hackney Marshes?

    August 23, 2011 at 11:06 pm | Reply

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