Steve Cram revels in new athletics mentor role

Steve Cram at the launch of the Sunderland 10K race.
Steve Cram at the launch of the Sunderland 10K race.
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STEVE Cram has raced in the Olympics as a teenager, climbed the podium in his pomp and observed the spectacle of the games from the comfort of the commentary booth.

But the Sunderland University chancellor faces the possibility of an entirely different experience in 2012 as the coach of teenage Olympic prospect Laura Weightman.

The Echo’s Chris Young spoke to Cram as the clock ticks down to the London Games.

STEVE Cram knows what it’s like to wander into the intensity of the Olympic stadium as an apprehensive youngster.

As a gangly 19-year-old, the lifelong Sunderland fan stepped into the bear pit in Moscow as his elder compatriots Seb Coe and Steve Ovett took centre stage in the 1,500metres.

While Cram finished outside the 1980 medals in a respectable eighth, the Tynesider used the experience as a springboard – taking silver in Los Angeles four years later.

What a feat it would prove to be if Cram’s student did likewise.

Cram’s legacy to upcoming athletes since retiring 17 years ago was limited to coaching clinics while he concentrated on forging a successful career as a BBC commentator.

But 18 months ago, Alnwick-born teenager Laura Weightman came under his wing.

Read Chris’s story in full in today’s Echo.