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.
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation is a public charitable foundation committed to inspiring and empowering youth through access to sport, education and healthcare.
Andre’s namesake foundation helps youth reach their own unique potential by providing them with similar opportunities that made Andre a champion in sport and in life.
“The roots of my success are really important to me. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my education, the resources made available to me or the mentorship and support of my first coach, Tony Sharpe, my mom, nor countless others along the way. My foundation and the programs we support provide me with a platform to pay it forward and give others the same opportunities I had growing up.”
– Andre De Grasse
Andre De Grasse Future Champions Fund
A joint initiative of the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation and the Athletics Canada Foundation, the Andre De Grasse Future Champions Fund empowers youth to use competitive sport as a platform to further their academic potential and become healthy and productive citizens in their community. Using the same blueprint that propelled Andre into a champion on the track and in the classroom, the program provides 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.
Ontario high school athletes who are not yet training with a track and field club can apply to become a Fund recipient online from June 1st to October 31st each year. Applicants who are accepted into the program will be notified early in the new year.
Future Champions Fund recipients receive the following support:
SickKids Caribbean Initiative
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation is a proud supporter of The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) Caribbean Initiative; a not-for-profit collaboration between SickKids and seven Caribbean institutions across six countries that strive to improve the outcomes and quality of life for children with cancer and blood disorders. The Initiative establishes partnerships between health-care specialist at SickKids in Toronto and their counterparts in the Caribbean, through training and education to support the early identification and treatment of children living with cancer and blood disorders in the Caribbean. This is an important project for Andre and his mother Beverley, who grew up in Trinidad & Tobago.
Andre hosts a youth basketball tournament in his hometown of Markham, Ontario during the last week of December. The annual Andre De Grasse Holiday Classic features more than 500 basketball players from across Southern Ontario. Proceeds from the tournament support the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation.
Board of Directors
For inquires re: corporate partnership opportunities, please contact: Brian Levine
Andre De Grasse Family Foundation © 2018