Andre was born in Scarborough, Ontario on November 10th, 1994 and raised by his mother Beverley De Grasse in Markham (north of Toronto). Beverley was a high school sprinter who grew up in Trinidad & Tobago before moving to Canada in her twenties. Once a promising basketball player, Andre’s life changed in the space of 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.
Andre was convinced by a friend to give track a try after his high school, Milliken Mills H.S, was unable to field a basketball team in his senior year. So, De Grasse laced up a pair of borrowed spikes, put on some baggy basketball shorts and raced to a second-place finish without the benefit of starting blocks.
Tony Sharpe, himself an Olympic medalist for Canada at the 1984 Olympics, was in the stands that fateful day and immediately took Andre under his wing. Andre joined Sharpe’s Speed Academy Track Club and by the following summer had set a new Canadian junior record of 10.25 in the 100m.
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. Andre joined Sharpe’s Speed Academy track club and by the following summer had set a new Canadian junior record of 10.25.
Two years competing in the National Junior College Athletic Association for Coffeyville Community College had made Andre a highly touted recruit, pursued by the top NCAA track & field programs. In 2014, Andre started school at USC and by the following spring, he was 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 9.75 and 19.58 seconds respectively.
Andre swept the 100m and 200m events in dramatic come from behind fashion at the 2015 Pan Am Games held in his own backyard in Toronto, Ontario. Capping off his magical 2015 season, Andre represented Canada in his first World Championships and left Beijing with bronze medals in both the 100m and 4x100m events. He turned professional the following winter and moved to Phoenix, Arizona to start training for the 2016 Olympics under a new coach.
Competing in his first Olympics, Andre De Grasse 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.
Despite turning pro and signing a lucrative contract with Puma, Andre had promised his family and friends that he would complete his university studies. So that’s exactly what he did, returning to USC and graduating with a degree in sociology. Andre is a proud father and takes pride in being a good role model for a new generation. In 2018, Andre launched the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation, a charitable organization committed to inspiring kids to dream big and empowering youth through access to sport, education, and health care. Inspired by his daughter Yuri, Andre published a motivational children’s picture book entitled RACE WITH ME!
Coming off the success of his 2016 Olympics, Andre achieved 100m and 200m event wins on the Diamond League circuit in Rome, Oslo, Stockholm, and Rabat, setting the stage for his final race against Usain Bolt at his 2017 World Championships. But in the days leading up to the much hyped 100m race, Andre sustained a serious hamstring injury. He rehabbed the best he could but then suffered a bout of mononucleosis before sustaining a second hamstring injury at the 2018 Canadian Championships. Down but not out, Andre kept his focus, drawing on the love and support of friends and family. He was determined to return to the top of his game.
A move to Jacksonville, Florida from Arizona to pursue a revamped training program under coach Rana Reider, spurred on a resurgent 2019 season for De Grasse. He would win the 200m race at both the Rabat Diamond League event and the prestigious Ostrava Golden Spike event during the build-up to the 2019 World Championships. Under the bright lights in Doha, Qatar, Andre would capture bronze in the 100m race, with a then personal best time of 9.90 seconds and silver in the 200m race with time of 19.95 seconds.
The COVID-19 pandemic limited Andre’s 2020 season to competing in just a few meets in Florida but he took full advantage of the extra year of training, as a result of the postponed Olympics, to enhance his power and strength. Andre’s 2021 season started off fast with a sub-10 second 100m clocking in his first race. However, inconsistent results followed through two trips to Europe in preparation for his second Olympics in Tokyo. Demonstrating great resilience and patience, Andre drew confidence in the fact that had done everything necessary to peak for optimal performance in Tokyo.
After falling short in nine previous Olympic and World Championship finals, Andre was able to finally capture that elusive gold medal in winning the 200m final in 19.62 seconds, a blistering fast time that eclipsed his own Canadian record he had set just a day earlier in the semi-final. De Grasse also matched his 2016 achievements with a bronze medal earned in the 100m where he lowered his personal best time to 9.89 seconds and silver medal in the 4x100m relay.
Andre’s hallmark lightning fast closing speed was evident across all events. Andre left Tokyo with a perfect ten-for-ten record, winning medals in each and every World Championship and Olympic final he’d contested throughout his career. But Andre’s sensational season 2021 season didn’t end there. Next up was the Diamond League Prefontaine Classic in Eugene, Oregon where Andre won the 100m in a wind-aided time of 9.74 beating a stellar field in the process.
2022 was a challenging year for Andre, which saw him struggle with a foot injury and two cases of COVID, one which he contracted just weeks before the 2022 World Championships. After not advancing to the 100m finals, Andre decided to withdraw from the 200m field despite being the reigning Olympic champion in the event. He wanted to save himself for the 4x100m and his plan worked. Andre anchored Canada to gold in the 4x100m with a new national record time defeating the United States in the process on their own soil.