Andre De Grasse earned Olympic Gold and Bronze at the Tokyo Olympics!
Once seen as one of Toronto’s most promising basketball players, Andre’s life changed in the space of 10.9 seconds, the time it took him to run his first 100m at a high school track meet.
Andre was convinced by a friend to give track & field a try after his high school was unable to field a basketball team in his senior year. He laced up a pair of borrowed spikes and placed second in that first race 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.
Shortly after being discovered Andre earned a full scholarship to attend College in Kansas. Two years later, Andre had made himself a highly-touted recruit, pursued by the top track & field programs across the world. He made the decision to attend the University of Southern California in the fall of 2014, where he won two World Championship bronze medals and two NCAA titles. He officially turned pro in late 2015.
Competing in his first Olympics, Andre 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 where he tied for the bronze medal in the 100m. This made him Canada’s first world medalist in the event since 1999. Andre 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.
Andre attributes much of his success to his support team, from coaches to family to medical support staff, “Each one helped get me to where I am today and played a role in my success.”