Andre De Grasse
De Grasse at the 2016 Summer Olympics
|Born||November 10, 1994|
Scarborough, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
|Height||5 ft 10 in (178 cm)|
|Weight||155 lb (70 kg)|
|Sport||Track and field|
|College team||USC Trojans (2015)|
Coffeyville Red Ravens (2013–2014)
|Achievements and titles|
Andre De Grasse (born November 10, 1994) is a Canadian sprinter. He won the silver medal in the 200 m and bronze medals in both the 100 m and 4×100 m relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. De Grasse was the Pan American champion and the NCAA champion in the 100 m and 200 m. De Grasse won the bronze in the 100 m and the 4 × 100 m relay at the 2015 World Athletics Championships in Beijing. He also won the bronze in the 100 m and the silver in the 200 m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. He is the current Canadian record holder in the 200m.
De Grasse is the first Canadian sprinter to win three medals in a single Olympics. His feat bettered the two medals in a single Olympics that were won by Canadian legends Donovan Bailey and Percy Williams.
Early and personal life
Andre De Grasse was born in Scarborough, Ontario. His mother, Beverley De Grasse, was a high school sprinter in Trinidad and Tobago before she moved to Canada at age 26. His father, Alexander Waithe, moved from Barbados to Canada as a teenager. Raised in Markham, Ontario, he went to St. Marguerite Bourgeoys Catholic Elementary School in Scarborough from kindergarten to the second grade and later transferred to Mother Teresa Catholic Elementary School in Markham to continue until grade eight where he won his first race in 2006. He also attended Father Michael McGivney Catholic Academy and Milliken Mills High School. De Grasse is a Roman Catholic having been influenced by the faith of his parents. He has the word "hope" and a prayer tattooed on his arm.
In high school, De Grasse initially played basketball, at one point playing against future NBA player Andrew Wiggins of Vaughan Secondary School. He reportedly joined the school's track and field team after a bet, and had to be convinced that there were girls at the meets. In his first race, the York Region Championships, De Grasse ran wearing basketball shorts and borrowed spikes, he also ignored the starting blocks and did a standing start. Despite his clear inexperience, he finished second in the 100m final with 10.91, third overall in the 200m with 22.64, and 7th overall in the Long Jump with 5.88m. He was spotted by future coach Tony Sharpe who noticed his impressive results compensating for the lack of starting blocks and proper racing attire. Sharpe invited De Grasse to join Pickering's Speed Academy. All 3 events were won by his eventual Olympic teammate Bolade Ajomale of Alexander Mackenzie High School. Having finished in the top 4 in the 100m and 200m, De Grasse qualified for the Ontario Central Championships, where he finished 4th in the 100m and 10th overall in the 200m. Finally, having qualified for the Ontario Championships in the 100m, De Grasse placed 5th in the final. He then began to train under Sharpe at The Speed Academy.
At the 2013 Canada Games, De Grasse won three gold medals in the 100, 200, and 4×100-metre relay. He attended Coffeyville Community College in 2013 and 2014 before transferring to USC for his junior season in 2015.
Competing for USC, De Grasse's legal 100 m time of 9.97 to win the Pac-12 championship in May 2015 was the first time he ran under 10 seconds, and he became the first Canadian to do so since Bruny Surin. In the 200m, De Grasse broke the Canadian record with 20.03, and closed on it again with 20.05 in the final. De Grasse nabbed global attention at the NCAA Championships by winning both the 100 and 200 metres ahead of favorite Trayvon Bromell of Baylor University. His wind-aided 100 and 200 metre times of 9.75 and 19.58, respectively, would have ranked him among the top ten all-time. After the race, with encouragement from his friends to keep going in the pursuit of titles, he said "So I ask myself...world champion? Olympic champion? Why not me? I've come this far, and I've only scratched the surface. I want to keep it going. Track is fun to me, and as long as it stays this way, I expect to keep getting better."
2015 Pan American champion and World double medalist
After winning the national 100m title with a personal best of 9.95, De Grasse's next major event was the 2015 Pan American Games held in his home province of Ontario. There, he won the gold medal in the 100m with a time of 10.05. After the race, De Grasse said of the home crowd that "Aw, it was great. I think they gave me an extra boost of energy, the crowd was amazing, I hear them cheering my name and screaming my name." De Grasse doubled and won gold in the 200m with a new national record of 19.88. De Grasse became the first Canadian in history to run both a sub-10 in the 100 metres and sub-20 in the 200. He appeared to win a third Pan Am Games gold when he ran the second leg of the 4 x 100m relay, in which the Canadian team came first in the race with a Games record of 38.06. However, the team was later disqualified two hours after the race for a lane infringement by Gavin Smellie.
The 2015 World Championships in Athletics took place in Beijing. At the event, De Grasse cruised through his heat in 9.99, then made headlines when he nearly beat Usain Bolt, who stumbled out of the blocks. The two clocked 9.96, with Bolt just thousandths ahead. In the final, De Grasse tied for the bronze medal with Bromell, running a new personal best of 9.92. He became the first Canadian to win a medal in track's marquee event since Bruny Surin raced to silver in 1999. After the final De Grasse said "I didn't know who had won the race, I didn't know you could actually tie with someone for a bronze medal. So I am very happy for Trayvon and proud of myself to come away with a personal best. To race against these guys and make the final, I couldn't end the season any better than that. I can't let [the lane assignment] distract me. At the end of the day, it's the 100m final. This was the biggest race of my life so I wasn't going to think about no lane assignment. I had a lot of confidence after the semi-finals, being that close to Bolt, and that raised my confidence for the final." De Grasse also participated in the 4 × 100m relay where he won a second bronze medal, running a 38.13 together with Aaron Brown, Brendon Rodney, and Justyn Warner.
Early 2016 season
De Grasse got off to a rocky start in the 2016 season, finishing 8th at the Prefontaine Classic. However, he shook off the race rust in June and won the 200m in Birmingham and the 100m in Oslo. He defended his national 100m title in 9.99, his first sub-10 of the season, and qualified for Canada's Olympic team. He also qualified for the 200m, albeit finishing 3rd at the championships behind Rodney and Brown.
De Grasse entered the Rio Olympics carrying Canada's hopes as a medallist. He advanced to the finals of the 100m with ease after running a time of 10.04 in his heat and then equaling his personal best of 9.92 in the semi-finals. He impressed many by staying level with Usain Bolt during their semifinal and even appeared to mimic the world record holder, the two Puma sponsorees crossing the line together with smiles. De Grasse won the bronze medal in the final in 9.91 seconds, a new personal best, behind Bolt and his main rival Justin Gatlin. He became the first male athlete to win a medal for Canada at the 2016 Summer Olympics. De Grasse's medal sparked talk of him being Bolt's heir apparent in the athletics world, a claim which Bolt supported:
He came through again. He's going to be good, he runs just like me, I mean he's really slow at the blocks but when he gets going, he gets going.— Usain Bolt, on De Grasse being the future of athletics after his retirement
De Grasse said of his relationship with Bolt after that "We were just having some fun. Me (sic) and Usain met back in January, we did a lot of things together. He feels like I'm the next one, and now I'm just trying to live up to it." Former Canadian Olympic Champion Donovan Bailey was seen jumping up and down in the CBC Sports studio, cheering on De Grasse. After, he said, "I'm shaking. This is great for track and field in Canada."
In the 200 m, De Grasse had the fastest time in the heats of 20.09. De Grasse and Bolt were lined up beside each other once again in the semi finals. Bolt led at halfway, when De Grasse suddenly rushed to his shoulder appearing to try to beat him. The two exchanged smiles and crossed the line together, one of the most iconic moments of the games. De Grasse claimed his strategy was to tire Bolt out before the final, which Bolt did not appear to appreciate. De Grasse's time of 19.80 was a new Canadian record, and he became the first Canadian to make it to the finals of the 200m since Atlee Mahorn at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul. Despite his tactic, De Grasse finished behind Bolt again, this time with the silver medal in 20.02, the first Canadian to win a medal in the 200m since Percy Williams at the 1928 Olympics in Amsterdam.
De Grasse ran the anchor for the finals of the 4 x 100 m relay. Initially in 6th place, De Grasse made an incredible close on Japan and the United States by about 4 metres, though he narrowly missed the bronze medal by 0.02 seconds. Despite this, the Canadians set a new national record of 37.64 seconds, breaking the record set in 1996 in Atlanta. However, the American team that placed third was disqualified for a zone violation (handing over the baton outside of the designated zone) at the first baton change, so the Canadians were awarded the bronze medal.
As in 2016, De Grasse had a rocky start to his season, but quickly picked up again. He took Diamond League wins over the 100m in Oslo and Stockholm, and 200m wins in Rome and Rabat. His time in Stockholm of 9.69w (+4.0 m/s) was over the 2.0 m/s wind limit, but the 4th fastest in history regardless. With Bolt choosing to forego the 200m, De Grasse was considered a strong favorite for the world title in London. His main goal was to beat Bolt in the 100m before his retirement after the championships. After winning both the 100m and 200m national titles, De Grasse was in contention to make the same double in London and defeat the world record holder. However, just days before the world championships, De Grasse strained his hamstring and was forced to pull out of both events, effectively ending his goal of beating Bolt before his retirement. A few weeks earlier, the two were set to face off in Monaco, but De Grasse was reportedly pulled out the race. His coach claimed it was Bolt's doing, likely involving contract clauses with Bolt's team, who were unwilling to see De Grasse potentially defeat him before the championships. A few days later, Bolt also said in an interview that "The last guy I said was going to be great disrespected me", a comment interpreted to be about De Grasse and his unexpected move in the semifinals of the 200 in Rio. Despite the apparent tensions, Bolt admitted he would have liked to race De Grasse in London.
In the Diamond League, De Grasse finished 6th in the 200m in Doha and 8th in the 100m in Shanghai, clearly affected by his injuries. He was unable to defend his national title in the 100m, settling for third in 10.20. During the 200m heats, he pulled up with a hamstring injury; the crowd cheered De Grasse on as he walked to the finish line, and he ended his season. Following his injuries, De Grasse left ALTIS and coach Stu McMillan in Arizona, moving to Jacksonville to train under Rana Reider.
Despite initial struggles in the early season, De Grasse appeared to be making a slow return to international competition. He finished second to Aaron Brown in the 200m at the Diamond League in Shanghai. A month later, he won his first Diamond League victory in two years at the Rabat 200m event, beating the reigning World champion Ramil Guliyev. Ultimately, he would finish on the podium in five of seven 100m events and all six 200m in the leadup to the World Championships. The next week, he beat Christian Coleman at the Ostrava Golden Spike in the 200m with 19.91. In July, he broke 10 seconds for the first time in 3 years at the Diamond League in London.
At the national championships, De Grasse nearly beat Brown in the 100m, the two clocking 10.03 and being separated by thousandths. He was named to the Canadian team for the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha in both of his disciplines. Across the season, De Grasse remained consistent at multiple Diamond League races, clocking several sub-20 second races across the 200m. He ended his pre-championship season with a 100m win at the ISTAF Berlin in 9.97.
At the championships, De Grasse made his contention official by winning his semifinal in the 100m, beating defending champion Justin Gatlin and #2 all-time Yohan Blake. He won bronze in the final with 9.90, a new personal best once again. Competing next in the 200m, he won the silver medal behind Noah Lyles in 19.95, shy of his season's best of 19.87. De Grasse commented that he tired slightly toward the end of the race, but that "I'm not disappointed. I didn't think I'd be here a year ago." This was the first World Championship medal for a Canadian in the 200m since Atlee Mahorn in 1991. He anchored the Canadian 4 × 100 team once again, but came short of qualifying for the final despite setting a season's best of 37.91 and finishing 8th overall.
Philanthropy and public appearances
In 2016, he established Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic Basketball Tournament, a charity event that supports Andre De Grasse Family Foundation. In September 2017, he appeared at WE Day, a WE Charity event in Toronto. De Grasse also created and participates annually in a basketball tournament named "Holiday Classic at Markham" at Pan Am Centre. All proceeds from the tournament go to the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation.
De Grasse's success at the Olympics led to his winning the Lionel Conacher Award as the Canadian Press' male athlete of the year, and be presented with the Rising Star Award by the IAAF. In April 2017 De Grasse was a recipient of a Harry Jerome Award.
|60 m||6.60||N/A||Lincoln, Nebraska, U.S.||February 7, 2015|
|100 m||9.90||+0.6||Doha, Qatar||September 28, 2019|
|9.69 w||+4.8||Stockholm, Sweden||June 18, 2017||Wind-assisted|
|200 m||19.80||−0.3||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||August 17, 2016||NR|
|19.58 w||+2.4||Eugene, Oregon, U.S.||June 12, 2015||Wind-assisted|
|200 m indoor||20.26||N/A||Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.||March 14, 2015||Indoor NR|
|4×100 m relay||37.64||N/A||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||August 19, 2016||NR [note 1]|
|4×200 m relay||1:19.20||N/A||Gainesville, Florida, U.S.||April 2, 2016||NR [note 2]|
International championship results
|2013||Pan American Junior Championships||Medellín, Colombia||2nd||100 m||10.36||+1.8|
|2014||Commonwealth Games||Glasgow, Scotland||15th||200 m||20.73||+0.2|
|DNF||4×100 m relay||–||N/A|
|2015||Pan American Games||Toronto, Ontario, Canada||1st||100 m||10.05||+1.1|
|DQ||4×100 m relay||N/A||Lane violation|
|World Championships||Beijing, China||3rd||100 m||9.92||−0.5||PB|
|3rd||4×100 m relay||38.13||N/A|
|2016||Olympic Games||Rio de Janeiro, Brazil||3rd||100 m||9.91||+0.2||PB|
|3rd||4×100 m relay||37.64||N/A||NR|
|2017||World Relays||Nassau, Bahamas||DNF||4×100 m relay||–||N/A|
|1st||4×200 m relay||1:19.42||N/A||WL|
|2019||World Relays||Yokohama, Japan||11th||4×100 m relay||38.76||N/A|
|World Championships||Doha, Qatar||3rd||100 m||9.90||+0.6||PB|
National championship results
|Representing the Coffeyville Red Ravens (2013–2014), the USC Trojans (2015), and Puma (2016–2019)|
|2013||NJCAA Indoor Championships||Lubbock, Texas, U.S.||1st||55 m||6.21||N/A||PB|
|NJCAA Division I Championships||Hutchinson, Kansas, U.S.||1st||100 m||9.96 w||+5.0||Wind-assisted|
|8th||200 m||21.47 w||+4.0||Wind-assisted|
|2nd||4×100 m relay||39.88||N/A||PB|
|Canadian Championships||Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada||4th||100 m||10.35||+0.2|
|Canadian Junior Championships||Sainte-Thérèse, Quebec, Canada||1st||100 m||10.53||−2.1|
|2014||NJCAA Indoor Championships||New York, New York, U.S.||1st||60 m||6.71||N/A|
|NJCAA Division I Championships||Mesa, Arizona, U.S.||2nd||100 m||10.15||+0.9||PB|
|Canadian Championships||Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada||2nd||100 m||10.41||−1.8|
|4th||200 m||21.05 w||+2.3||Wind-assisted|
|2015||NCAA Division I Indoor Championships||Fayetteville, Arkansas, U.S.||DQ||60 m||–||N/A||False start|
|2nd||200 m||20.26||N/A||NR, PB|
|NCAA Division I Championships||Eugene, Oregon, U.S.||1st||100 m||9.75 w||+2.7||Wind-assisted|
|1st||200 m||19.58 w||+2.4||Wind-assisted|
|4th||4×100 m relay||38.75||N/A||SB|
|Canadian Championships||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||1st||100 m||9.95||+1.5||PB|
|2016||Canadian Championships||Edmonton, Alberta, Canada||1st||100 m||9.99||−0.1||SB|
|2017||Canadian Championships||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada||1st||100 m||10.11||+0.8|
|1st||200 m||19.96 w||+2.7||Wind-assisted|
|2018||Canadian Championships||Ottawa, Ontario, Canada||3rd||100 m||10.20||+0.1|
|2019||Canadian Championships||Montreal, Quebec, Canada||2nd||100 m||10.03||+0.1|
- Diamond League (Events in parenthesis)
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- "Andre De Grasse - Track & Field - USC Athletics". usctrojans.com. Retrieved 30 December 2020.
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- Cherry, Gene (28 December 2018). "Sprinter Andre De Grasse switches coaches, now trains in Florida". reuters.com. Reuters. Retrieved 28 December 2018.
- "Andre DE GRASSE | Profile". iaaf.org. IAAF. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
- "100 Metres Men: IAAF World Athletics Championships, DOHA 2019". iaaf.org. IAAF. 28 September 2019.
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- "Andre De Grasse completes sprint double at NCAA Championships". Athletics Canada. 12 June 2015. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- De Grasse, Andre. "Andre De Grasse: What did I just do?". CBC Sports. Retrieved 23 July 2015.
- Frisk, Adam (22 July 2015). "Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse wins 100m final at Pan Am Games". Global News. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Ewing, Lori (22 July 2015). "Andre De Grasse wins gold in men's 100m". CBC Sports. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- DiManno, Rosie (24 July 2015). "Andre De Grasse blazes to 200-metre Pan Am gold in record time". Toronto Star. Star Media Group. Retrieved 24 July 2015.
- Andre De Grasse wins 200-metre gold, sets Canadian record. The Globe and Mail (July 24, 2015). Retrieved on August 15, 2016.
- "Canada's men's relay team gives up gold after disqualification". CBC Sports. 26 July 2015.
- Paul Gains (23 August 2015). "Andre De Grasse caps big day for Canada at world championships". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2 July 2016.
- USC's Andre De Grasse turns professional, signs with Puma. Si.com (December 4, 2015). Retrieved on August 15, 2016.
- Andre De Grasse signs pro deal with Puma. Cbc.ca. Retrieved on August 15, 2016.
- Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse signs record deal with Puma. Torontosun.com. Retrieved on August 15, 2016.
- Double NCAA sprint champ Andre De Grasse of USC turns pro. Ocregister.com (December 4, 2015). Retrieved on August 15, 2016.
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- Benjamin Blum (14 August 2016). "Usain Bolt wins 100m gold, Andre De Grasse gets bronze". CBC Sports.
- Benjamin Blum (18 August 2016). "Andre De Grasse, Usain Bolt qualify for 200m final". CBC Sports.
- Callum Ng (19 August 2016). "Jamaica wins relay gold; Canada captures bronze". CBC Sports. Archived from the original on 22 August 2016. Retrieved 20 August 2016.
- "Usain Bolt regrets he won't get showdown with Andre De Grasse". CBC Sports. 4 August 2017.
- "Andre De Grasse lost more than a final showdown with Usain Bolt". CBC Sports. 3 August 2017.
- "Andre De Grasse's hamstring strain explained". CBC Sports. 3 August 2017.
- Huebsch, Tim (10 January 2018). "Athletics Canada names 2018 Commonwealth Games team". www.runningmagazine.ca/. Gripped Publishing Inc. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- "Athletics Canada nominates 46 athletes to Canada's 2018 Commonwealth Games team". www.athletics.ca/. Athletics Canada. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- "Andre De Grasse to headline Canada's Commonwealth Games team". Canadian Press. Toronto, Ontario, Canada. 10 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
- Harrison, Doug (23 September 2019). "With renewed focus on health, De Grasse sees track worlds as chance to rejoin elite". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Harrison, Doug (16 June 2019). "Late charge propels De Grasse to 200-metre win in season-best time". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Harrison, Doug (28 September 2019). "De Grasse sprints to bronze as Coleman blazes to 100m world title". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Harrison, Doug (1 October 2019). "De Grasse wins silver in 200 metres for 2nd medal of world championships". CBC Sports. Retrieved 2 October 2019.
- Campbell, Morganne (29 December 2019). "Andre De Grasse hosts holiday classic in Markham ahead of 2020 Olympics". Global News. Retrieved 8 March 2020.
- Gordon, Daphne (27 September 2017). "Kindness is integral to Jacob Tremblay's personal and professional lives". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
- "Andre De Grasse hosts holiday classic in Markham ahead of 2020 Olympics". Global News. Retrieved 9 March 2020.
- "Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse excited about being a new dad after birth of baby girl". Globe & Mail. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- The Canadian Press (26 December 2016). "Andre De Grasse voted Canadian Press male athlete of the year". CBC Sports. Retrieved 26 December 2016.
- "Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse named Rising Star of 2016 by IAAF". CTVNews. 2 December 2016. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- "Andre De Grasse among 18 being honoured at 2017 Harry Jerome Awards". Global News. Retrieved 18 May 2017.
- "ATHLETE PROFILE Andre DE GRASSE". worldathletics.org. World Athletics. Retrieved 23 February 2021.
- "ANDRE DE GRASSE COFFEYVILLE CC". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- "ANDRE DE GRASSE USC". tfrrs.org. Track & Field Results Reporting System. Retrieved 5 April 2019.
- Sinead Mulhern (15 March 2015). "NCAA Championship weekend recap". runningmagazine.ca. Canadian Running Magazine. Archived from the original on 29 March 2015. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- Adam Risk (19 August 2016). "Rio 2016: Canada gets bronze in men's 4x100m relay after U.S. disqualified". globalnews.ca. Global News. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- "Calendar & Rankings – Records". athletics.ca. Athletics Canada. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- Rosie DiManno (25 July 2015). "Canada's men's 4x100 relay team disqualified, loses gold: DiManno". thestar.com. Toronto Star. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
- "De Grasse, Canada rebound to win 4x200 gold". cbc.ca. Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 24 April 2017. Retrieved 6 April 2019.
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