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Andre De Grasse is a Canadian sprinter and Olympian. He was born in Scarborough, Ontario on November 10, 1994 and followed in his mother’s footsteps as a sprinter. His mother, Beverley, was a high school sprinter in high school in Trinidad & Tobago, but later moved to Canada where she had her son.
He had originally pursued basketball until he ran his first 100m at the York Region High School Championships in 2012. His high school didn’t have enough plays to field a basketball team during his senior year so a friend convinced him to join track. He ended up finishing in second place, while wearing basketball shorts and borrowed spikes, with a 10.9 second running time.
That day would prove to be a special one though because of who was in the stands. Tony Sharpe, a Canadian Olympic hero, was in the stands that day and saw something in Andre. He decided to take him under his wing and got Andre into Sharpe’s Speed Academy. The progress was immediate and by the next summer, Andre had set a new Canadian junior record with a running time of 10.25.
Andre would go on to attend Coffeyville Community College after high school where he competed in the National Junior College Athletic Association. He became a top recruit in the world of NCAA track and field programs with many big-time universities wanting to take him on. He ended up settling on the University of South California. It would turn out to be an excellent decision for the sprinter as he quickly became a star for them with wins in the 100m and 200m at the 2015 NCAA Championships.
De Grasse’s success would continue at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto when he won the 100m and 200m events. He would then head to the IAAF World Championships to represent Canada where he ran in the 100m, finishing with the bronze medal. That place allowed him to become Canada’s first world medalist at the Pan Am Games since 1999. De Grasse would add a second bronze medal as a part of the 4x100m relay team at the Games. Speaking to Betway ahead of the Tokyo Olympics, De Grasse said: “I know my country put that pressure on me. They always believed that I could do it, people back home. I try to go out there, have pride and do my best, and try to just make myself, my family and my country proud. It’s just really amazing to run for a country like Canada.”
In 2016, Andre De Grasse would make his Olympics debut. He went up against the great Usain Bolt in the games and really gave him a run for his money. At the 100m in the Rio games, Andre would finish third and win the bronze medal while setting a new personal record. He would then take part in the 200m where he set a new Canadian record, breaking his own record, of 19.8 en route to a silver medal. Again, Andre would add one more medal in the 4x100m as the Canadians took the bronze medal with a new Canadian record time.
De Grasse has found success off the track as well with a relationship with American track and field star and Olympic medalist, Nia Ali. The two had a daughter in 2018 who should have some excellent track and field genes, she seems like a lock for a future of Olympic success. Andre has also given back to the world in a lot of ways. He runs the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation which is aimed to inspiring and empowering youth through education, healthcare, and sport. He runs an annual basketball tournament to raise money for the event.
The Canadian Press awarded Andre with the Lionel Conacher Award as their male athlete of the year in 2016 following his Olympic success. In 2017, he was bestowed a Harry Jerome Award by the Black Business and Professionals Association (BBPA).