There are many new and impressive Canadian athletes that came to the Rio Olympics this year, one of them being Andre De Grasse. The sprinter won bronze in the 100m race (behind American Justin Gatlin and Jamaica’s Usain Bolt), and silver in the 200m (behind Bolt). He also set a new Canadian record for the 200m during the semi-finals in a time of 19.8s. At only 21 years old, he is definitely one to watch out for on the race track. Be sure to watch him in the 4x100m relay tonight at 9:35 pm ET. (Editor’s Note: The Canadian team won bronze in the relay.)
Here are 9 things you need to know about Andre De Grasse
On getting started
He started running track at the age of 17 after the high school coach saw potential in him at a high school meet. Andre stuck with the sport as he saw positive results and earned a scholarship.
He just finished studying Sociology at the University of Southern California.
On his role model
His role model is his high school coach, Tony Sharpe, who turned his life around in a positive way. He was the one to discover him and helped him get the scholarship.
On his racing style
Andre is almost always last in training, and is never first. Everyone at meets are always blazing past him. But then they’re always confused when they get to competitions and everything changes. He is definitely someone that can power up the intensity depending on the race.
On his reputation
Andre has only recently started to compete, making his successes even more impressive. He started to compete seriously about four years ago, and not even three years ago at a world class level. 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.
On becoming pro
He was definitely not used to the 54 race season. “His feet and his lower legs were battered. He had some fairly significant issues with his shins and his feet that took probably three months to try to get through,” his trainer said.
On his deal with Puma
Puma was on the lookout for the next big star and they found one in Andre De Grasse. Since Usain Bolt is nearing the end of his career, they needed a new spokesperson. They signed Andre for 11 million dollars (US).
On his road to Rio
He has a pretty hectic schedule leading up to the games but nothing he can’t handle. At the Olympic trials in Edmonton he won in 9.99 seconds, just below that magic 10-second mark that seems to separate the sprinting superstars from the rest of the field.
On the Olympics
This is his first year competing at the Olympics and he has done nothing but surpass expectations.