When Andre De Grasse was in high school, the Markham, Ontario-native’s favourite sport was basketball. That is until his school unceremoniously cancelled the program. When a friend suggested he join him at a track meet, De Grasse took him up on the offer. He showed up without the prerequisite gear of tights and spikes, and didn’t bother using the starting blocks like his competitors. Turns out, he didn’t need them. The newcomer burned up the 100-metre track in a blazing 10.9 seconds. This was the start of his new-found love with the sport.
Although late to the sport – not starting until 2012 in 12th grade – the sprinter has been gaining speed and smashing records in a few short years. At the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto, De Grasse swept the 100- and 200-metre races announcing his arrival on the international stage. He instantly joined the ranks of well-known Canadian sprinters like Donovan Bailey and Ben Johnson, reenergizing our proud national track legacy and garnering an instant fan base in mere seconds.
That same year, he competed in his first-ever IAAF World Championship and tied for bronze in the 100 metre. This was the first time a Canadian has medalled there since 1999. He was also part of the Canadian 4x100m relay team that took home bronze.
At his Olympic debut in the 2016 Summer Games, the 21-year-old won bronze in the 100-metre sprint with a time of 9.91 seconds. Jamaica’s Usain Bolt won gold at 9.81 seconds and American Justin Gatlin won silver at 9.89.
We’re confident that this is just the beginning of De Grasse’s amazing career.