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 growing 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, donned some baggy basketball shorts and raced to a second place finish at the York Region Championships without the benefit of starting blocks.
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. He opted to attend USC beginning in 2014. By the following spring, De Grasse was a household name after winning the 100m and 200m in a span of 45 minutes at the NCAA Championships with wind-aided times of 9.75 seconds in the 100m and 19.58 seconds in the 200m.
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 at the 2015 IAAF World Championships in Beijing where he tied for the bronze medal in the 100m. This made him Canada’s first world medalist in the event since 1999. De Grasse ran sub-10 seconds in all three rounds of competition. He was also part of the 4x100m relay team that won bronze.
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 professional and signing a contract with Puma, Andre had promised his mother Beverly that post-Olympics he would complete his studies at USC, He did just that earning a degree in Sociology. Off the track and with the benefit of a growing roster of corporate partners, Andre has launched the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation, which is committed to empowering youth through sport and education. Andre wants to inspire kids to dream big and support them with access to resources and mentorship.
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation (ADGFF) is a public charitable foundation committed to empowering and inspiring youth through sport and education. Andre’s namesake foundation seeks to inspire youth to reach their own unique potential by providing them with similar opportunities that made Andre a champion in sport and in life.
“Winning medals has made Andre a champion on the track, but giving back is what makes him a true champion in my eyes”
– Coach Tony Sharpe
The ADGFF will expand its impact over the coming years by teaming up with other organizations that provide mentorship and/or resources to youth across Canada. The Foundation’s vision reflects Andre’s mantra, to Speak It Into Existence.
All Ontario high school track and field athletes who are not yet training with a track and field club, are invited to apply for funding support by clicking the button at the bottom of the page and filling out the online form.
A select number of athletes will be accepted into the program, which will grant them the following:
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation will expand its impact over the coming years by teaming up with other organizations that provide mentorship and/or resources to youth across Canada. The Foundation’s vision reflects Andre’s mantra, to Speak It Into Existence.
The Andre DeGrasse Future Champions Fund (ADGFCF) is a joint initiative of the Athletics Canada Foundation and the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation. In addition to his achievements on the track, Andre is a university graduate of University of Southern California (USC) and has a deep appreciation of how mentors, training and education helped his success. The ADGFCF aims to empower youth to use competitive sport as a platform to further their academic potential and become healthy and productive citizens in their community. The ADGFF will use the same blueprint that propelled Andre into a champion, and provide the support and services required for high school athletes to maximize their athletic ability in pursuit of academic success and the opportunity to realize their potential.
Board of Directors:
For inquires re: corporate partnership opportunities, please contact: Brian Levine
Andre De Grasse Family Foundation © 2018