Andre De Grasse
Andre De Grasse. Canadian Record Holder. 3x Olympic medalist.
Competing in his first Olympics, Andre De Grasse ran a new personal best in the 100m final in Rio, to capture a bronze medal behind Justin Gatlin of the USA and Usain Bolt of Jamaica. In the semi-finals of the 200m, Andre lowered his own Canadian record running 19.80 before racing to a silver medal in the final behind Usain Bolt. He went on to win his third medal of the Games, anchoring the men’s 4x100m relay team to a bronze medal in a new national record time of 37.64.
Before the 2016 Olympics, Andre competed at the IAAF World Championships in 2015 tying for the bronze medal in the 100m. This made him Canada’s first world medallist in the event since 1999. De Grasse ran sub-10 seconds in all three rounds of competition. He was also part of the 4x100m relay team that won bronze. Earlier in the summer at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, Andre swept the 100m and 200m events in dramatic fashion. De Grasse had made headlines across Canada and the United States when he won the 100m and 200m in a span of 45 minutes at the NCAA Championships in June 2015. He recorded wind-aided times, running 9.75 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 seconds in the 200m.
|100m||9.91||Aug 14 2016||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|100m (+2.7w)||9.74||June 12 2015||Eugene, USA|
|200m||19.80||Aug 17 2016||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil|
|200m (+2.4w)||19.57||June 12 2015||Eugene, USA|
Andre was born in Scarborough, Ontario and raised by his mother Beverley De Grasse in Markham (north of the City of Toronto). Beverley was a high school sprinter growing up in Trinidad & Tobago before moving to Canada in her twenties. Andre has three half-siblings: Julian Waithe, Alexandra Waithe and Dantee Waithe.
Getting into the Sport:
Once one of the Greater Toronto Area’s most promising guards, Andre’s life changed in the space of 10.9 seconds, the time it took him to run his first 100m at the York Region High School Championships. Andre was convinced by a friend to give track a try after Milliken Mills high school was unable to field a basketball team in his senior year. So De Grasse laced up a pair of borrowed spikes and blew away the competition without the benefit of starting blocks. Tony Sharpe, himself an Olympic medalist for Canada at the 1984 Olympics, was in the stands that day and immediately took Andre under his wing. Andre joined Sharpe’s Speed Academy track club and by the following summer had set a new Canadian junior record of 10.25. In efforts to improve his grades and earn a college scholarship, Andre enrolled at Coffeyville Community College in Kansas, spending two years their before heading to USC in the fall of 2014.
Andre has been inspired by a lot of people in his life but especially his brother Julian who is a youth worker in the City of Toronto. Throughout his teenage years, Andre would regularly volunteer alongside his brother at a downtown youth recreation and community centre. Despite turning professional and signing a lucrative contract with Puma, Andre is committed to completing his studies at USC where he’s working toward a degree in Sociology. Off the track and with the benefit of a growing roster of corporate partners, Andre wants to inspire and enable young people to realize their own dreams. When he’s not training, Andre’s just like any other young man, enjoying time with his friends, listening to music and watching movies. He’d also like to design his own line of clothing one day.
Odds and Ends
Favourite Motto: “Never let your successes go to your head. Never let your failures go to your heart”