Andre De Grasse made history at Rio 2016 when he became the first Canadian athlete to win Olympic medals in all three sprint events. First came a bronze in the 100m in a personal best time of 9.91 seconds, making him Canada’s first Olympic medallist in the event since Donovan Bailey at Atlanta 1996. That was followed by a silver medal in the 200m, making him the first Canadian to reach the Olympic podium in that event since Percy Williams at Amsterdam 1928. De Grasse had set a national record time of 19.80 seconds when he challenged Jamaican star Usain Bolt in the semifinals. He closed his Olympic debut by anchoring the 4x100m relay to bronze in a national record time of 37.64 seconds, breaking the 20-year-old mark held by the gold medal squad from Atlanta 1996.
De Grasse’s breakout season in 2015 was highlighted by his double bronze medal performance at his first IAAF World Championships. He tied for third in the 100m with a personal best 9,92 seconds to become Canada’s first medallist in the event since 1999 and also stood on the podium with the 4x100m relay. Earlier in the summer, De Grasse was a double gold medallist at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, sweeping the 100m and 200m events, and setting a national record (19.88 seconds) in the latter. He appeared to have won a third gold medal in the 4x100m relay, but a lane violation led to the team’s disqualification. In December 2015, De Grasse turned pro, choosing to forego his final year of college eligibility for a multi-year, multi-million dollar contract. Later in the month, he moved his training location to ALTIS in Phoenix, Arizona.
De Grasse first 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 had blistering fast times in both, running 9.75 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 seconds in the 200m, although they were wind-aided and didn’t count towards any official rankings or records. The wins capped a great first season racing for the USC Trojans, after transferring as a junior from Coffeyville Community College. On May 17 he had become the first Canadian since Bruny Surin in 1999 to run a sub-10-second 100m, winning the Pac-12 Championship in 9.97 seconds. That same weekend, he broke the Canadian 200m record for the first time, running 20.03 seconds. De Grasse had finished second in the 100m and fourth in the 200m at the 2014 Canadian Championships. He was a double medallist at the 2013 Pan American Junior Championships, capturing 100m silver and 200m bronze after being crowned Canadian junior champion in both distances.
Getting to know…
Getting into the Sport: Started running track seriously at age 17 after coach Tony Sharpe saw his potential to be great in the sport at a high school meet… Stuck with it as he saw positive results and earned a scholarship… Outside Interests: Studying Sociology at the University of Southern California… Odds and Ends: Role model is coach Tony Sharpe who helped him earn a university scholarship and turned around his life in a positive way… Favourite motto: “Never let your successes go to your head. Never let your failures go to your heart”…
|2016 Rio||Athletics||100m - Men||Bronze|
|2016 Rio||Athletics||200m - Men||Silver|
|2016 Rio||Athletics||Relay 4x100m - Men||Bronze|
Notable International Results
Olympic Games: 2016 - BRONZE (100m), SILVER (200m), BRONZE (4x100m relay)
Pan American Games: 2015 – GOLD (100m), GOLD (200m), DQ (4x100m relay)
Commonwealth Games: 2014 – 5th in SF (200m), DNF (4x100m relay)
IAAF World Championships: 2015 – BRONZE (100m), BRONZE (4x100m relay)
Pan American Championships (junior): 2013 – SILVER (100m), BRONZE (200m)