Seb Coe, a four-time Olympic middle distance running medalist and chairman of the London Olympic Organizing Committee, wants cross-country running in the Olympics — the Winter Olympics.
“Because you would then broaden the [Winter] Olympic program to African nations that are not actually fielding a great proprietary interest,” Coe said in an interview with Great Run TV.
In 2009, the IAAF, track and field’s international governing body, said the International Olympic Committee asked for its advice on cross-country running joining the Winter Olympics. The IAAF backed it, but it wasn’t added to the Winter Games program at the time.
In 2008, Olympic distance-running legends Kenenisa Bekele, Haile Gebrselassie and Paul Tergat wrote to then-IOC president Jacques Rogge and IAAF president Lamine Diack to try to get cross-country running back into the Olympics.
Cross-country running was on the Summer Olympic program from 1912 through 1924.
Coe, 58, is a candidate to be the next president of the IAAF.
Diack plans to step down after his term ends this year. Coe and 1988 Olympic pole vault champion Sergey Bubka are expected to be the top candidates to succeed Diack.
The new president will be decided in August.