He said he remains in contact with friends he made during the L.A. Games and cherishes memories he forged outside the competition.
"It was the yellow buses. It was always the yellow buses," he said of the vehicles that transported athletes. "I remember coming back from one of my races ... sitting on with one or two people on these yellow buses and I sort of felt I was in a Norman Rockwell world, these yellow buses with sort of [David] Hockney-esque skies everywhere."
He's also an unabashed fan of Peter Ueberroth, head of the Los Angeles organizing committee. London plans have followed the Los Angeles model of using many existing facilities rather than building expensive new venues.
"He really created the modern Games for me," Coe said. "We talk about the modern Games, you think 1896. But if you look at the template for sustainability and financial probity, financial resilience, Peter created the template."
Ueberroth rode the success of the 1984 Games to become commissioner of Major League Baseball and launch a brief 2003 bid to become governor of California. Coe is a vice president of the international track federation and might run for the presidency but said his ambitions don't extend beyond that.
"This is, for me, the end of the journey," he said.
"I'm incredibly lucky. I know that. I make no bones about it. I competed at the Games twice. I've dealt with the fact that I didn't get selected on a third occasion. I've written about the Games. Broadcast it. Been vice president of track and field, the biggest federation, and I've been a member of the Olympic commission at the games. And I bid for one.
"What else would I be doing now? I'm living a dream here."