John Coates has had a significant impact on Australian sport through his outstanding achievements in the development of the Olympic Movement in Australia, particularly through the planning and execution of the successful Sydney 2000 Olympic bid.
He has been a part of a number of Olympic bids including the Brisbane 1992 Olympic Games Bid, Melbourne Olympic Games Bid Strategy Committee, and the 1991-1993 Sydney Olympics 2000 Bid Limited.
Coates was senior Vice President of the Sydney Organising Committee for the Olympic Games and Vice President of the Sydney Olympic Bid Committee. He played a key role in bringing the 2000 Olympics to Australia and in its delivery.
Coates was awarded the Olympic Order in Gold at the Closing Ceremony of the Sydney Olympics and the International Rowing Federation (FISA) Medal of Honour during those Games.
Coates was elected as Australia’s fourth member of the International Olympic Committee in 2001 and currently serves on its Juridical Commission, TV Rights and New Media Commission, and the Coordination Commission for the Games of the XXX Olympiad – London 2012.
He has been President of the AOC since 1991 and will be Chef de Mission of the 2008 Australian Olympic Team in Beijing, having held the same position in Athens (2004), Sydney (2000), Atlanta (1996), Barcelona (1992) and Seoul (1988), and other senior team positions in Los Angeles (1984), Moscow (1980) and Montreal (1976).
Coates is a member of the Sydney Olympic Park Authority and is Vice President of the International Council of Arbitration for Sport and a Council Member of FISA. He is a former President of the Australian Rowing Council and former deputy Chairman of the Australian Institute of Sport and Australian Sports Commission.
In 2006 Coates was appointed as a Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AC) for service to the development of sport nationally and internationally through the Olympic movement promoting the well being of youth and values of tolerance, understanding, peace and mutual respect between peoples of the world.