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Andre De Grasse          

Olympic Sprinter

With six Olympic medals, Andre De Grasse is the most decorated male Olympian in Canadian history. De Grasse captured medals in all three sprint events at both the 2016 Rio Olympics and again five years later at the Tokyo Olympics. He’s the reigning Olympic Champion in the 200m, having upgraded the silver he won behind Usain Bolt in 2016, and a two-time bronze medalist in the 100m event. De Grasse added a silver medal in the 4x100m relay to complete a full set from Tokyo, improving upon the bronze medal from Rio. Most recently, De Grasse anchored the Canadian men’s 4x100m relay team to the 2022 World Championship title.

De Grasse was born in Scarborough, Ontario on November 10th, 1994 and raised in Markham, Ontario by his mother, Beverley De Grasse, who grew up in Trinidad & Tobago before moving to Canada in her twenties. De Grasse’s father Alexander Waithe, who passed away in 2021, immigrated to Canada from Barbados in his teens. De Grasse has three siblings: Alexandra, Dantee and Julian.

Once a promising basketball player, De Grasse’s life changed in 10.9 seconds, the time it took him to run his first 100m at the York Region High School Championships in the spring of 2012. De Grasse was convinced by a friend to give track a try after his high school, Milliken Mills, was unable to field a basketball team in his senior year. De Grasse laced up a pair of borrowed spikes, donned some baggy basketball shorts, and raced to a second-place finish without the benefits of using starting blocks. Tony Sharpe, himself an Olympic medalist for Canada at the 1984 Olympics, was in the stands that day and immediately took De Grasse under his wing.

De Grasse joined Sharpe’s Speed Academy Track Club and by the following summer, he had set a new Canadian junior record of 10.25 seconds. After two years competing for Coffeyville Community College, De Grasse had become a highly touted recruit, pursued by the top NCAA Division I track & field schools. In 2014, De Grasse started at the University of Southern California (USC) and by the following spring, had become a household name after winning both the 100m and 200m races in a span of 45 minutes at the NCAA Championships with sensational wind-aided times of 19.75 and 19.58 seconds respectfully. Less than two months later, De Grasse swept the 100m and 200m events in dramatic fashion at the 2015 Pan Am Games in Toronto. De Grasse capped off the magical 2015 season competing in his first World Championships where he took home bronze medals in the 100m and 4x100m relay.

Competing in his first Olympics, De Grasse ran a new personal best in the 100m final in Rio, to capture a bronze medal. In the semi-finals of the 200m, De Grasse lowered his own Canadian record by 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.

After turning professional in the fall of 2015 and leaving USC to train full time for the 2016 Olympics, De Grasse made a promise to his family that he would to complete his studies. He did exactly that, returning to USC in the fall of 2016 and graduated the following spring with a degree in sociology.

Injury and illness slowed De Grasse down for a couple of seasons, but he fought his way back and came home from the 2019 World Championships having won medals in the 100m and 200m events, the only male sprinter to do so at the meet. De Grasse’s the ultimate clutch performer, delivering podium finishes in each and every Olympic and World Championship final he’s contested.

Off the track, De Grasse is a proud father raising three children with his partner Nia Ali, who is the reigning World Champion in the women’s 100m hurdles and an Olympic Silver medalist. The speedy couple met at USC and live and train together in Jacksonville, Florida. In addition to his responsibility as a professional athlete and family man, De Grasse seeks to encourage young people to dream big and fulfill their own unique potential. He’s the author of the best-selling motivational children’s “Race With ME!”.

In recognition of his family’s proud Caribbean roots, De Grasse made a personal donation of $25,000 to the SickKids Caribbean initiative in 2018. In that same year, he established the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation, committed to inspiring and empower youth through access to sport, education, and healthcare. The foundation has donated funds to Kids Help Phone, Special Olympics Ontario and the WoodGreen Foundation, among others. In association with Athletics Canada, De Grasse supports the next generation of student athletes through the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Scholarship Program. Under the guidance of his first coach and mentor, Tony Sharpe, the program uses a similar blueprint that propelled De Grasse on the track and in the classroom.

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