David Moorcroft has called for passion over policy when it comes to getting the youth of Coventry and Warwickshire on the right track to London 2012.
The Coventry-born athletics hero called for a return to a grassroots approach to encouraging sport, similar to the approach that nurtured him to his first victories in the 1970s.
Moorcroft was speaking at an event hosted by the Coventry and Warwickshire 2012 Partnership as it presented its "Journey to 2012".
The partnership revealed its plans to be involved in the Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2012 with the help of David, plus Radio Five Live and BBC presenter John Inverdale and Warwickshire's champion swimmer Adam Whitehead.
Moorcroft, who first competed in the Games in 1976, still holds the UK record for the 3,000m and 5,000m races, which he set 25 years ago in 1982.
He has taken on the role of Chief Ambassador for the partnership, which will involve promoting the profile of Coventry and Warwickshire and making sure it benefits from the many sports, business, tourism, educational and cultural opportunities created by London staging the Games in five years time.
Moorcroft spoke about getting back to basics when it comes to reaping rewards in all areas of opportunity  from encouraging an aspiring sporting hopeful to helping a local company win a 2012 contract.
He said: "My Olympic journey began in 1964 when a lady called Ann Packer won the 800m. I knew that is what I wanted to do, be a runner and compete in the Olympics. Sport was the core of what I was.
"But the facilities were awful at the Butts at the time. We didn't have coaches and strategies. What we did have was an army of people who wanted to be the best they could be.
"At school there was also an army of gifted PE teachers who would give up their lunch hour for sport. That was the recipe for success."
Moorcroft, aged 54, a highly-successful competitor, teacher and broadcaster, attended Woodlands Comprehensive School and was a member of the Coventry Godiva Harriers.
He revealed five key projects that the Coventry and Warwickshire 2012 Partner-ship hope will create a recipe for success in the run up to London 2012. The projects are: n Stratford to Stratford  linking Stratford in Warwickshire to Stratford in east London, where the Olympic Park is being established. This could be done through a number of initiatives including taking Shakespeare to the streets of east London. n Olympic Legends Camp  sports stars to converge in Coventry and Warwickshire for events, also offering workshops for young people. n Adopt a nation  creating links with countries that are relevant to Coventry and Warwickshire and drive that link over the next five years, using it to improve education, sport, business, culture and tourism. n Olympic-themed carnivals, festivals and sports days  creating an Olympic theme in one of the many festivals staged here to celebrate the multi-cultural diversity of the sub-region and bring the Olympics alive. n Coventry Cathedral  World Centre for Peace and Reconciliation  2012 coincides with the 50th anniversary celebrations of the new cathedral.
The message of international peace, at the heart of the Olympic movement, dovetails perfectly with the cathedral's ethos.
Inverdale spoke of his Olympic experiences before urging Coventry and Warwickshire to make its mark.
"The Games are unbelievably exciting," he said. "If you have never been lucky enough to go to an Olympic Games, I promise you, as it gets closer and closer the air of anticipation and excitement over-whelms you.
"The opportunities are there and don't let them pass you by. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to maximise having the greatest international show on earth on your doorstep. This can be your Games as well." ..SUPL: