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, donned 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 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.
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 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 Mono before suffering 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 of 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. Showing great resilience and patience, Andre stuck to the faith that he and his coach 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 pair of Bronze medals earned in the 100m (where Andre would also notch a personal best time of 9.89 seconds) and 4x100m relay races.
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’s contested. 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. He would go back over to Europe on last time for a handful of races, either winning or finishing on the podium in each one.
The Andre De Grasse Family Foundation is a public charitable foundation committed to inspiring and empowering youth through access to sport, education and healthcare including mental health.
Andre’s namesake foundation helps youth reach their own unique potential by providing them with the kind of 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.
Successful participants in the Future Champions program will receive academic counselling to help research and secure scholarships to North American post-secondary institutions.
Canadian 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 July 31st each year. Applicants who are accepted into the program will be notified in September.
Future Champions Fund recipients receive the following support:
RACE WITH ME! Virtual Challenge
Like so many youth during the COVID-19 pandemic, 14-year-old Montrealer, Jesse Briscoe grew frustrated by the cancellation of his sport clubs and activities due to COVID restrictions. Jesse and Andre co-created the challenge to inspire youth across the country to get active with safe outdoor activity. Named after Andre’s #1 selling children’s book, the Race With Me! Virtual Challenge motivated thousands of youth from Halifax to Whitehorse to get back on track racing a 400m distance each week for 8 weeks. Together the challenge raised $25,000 for Kids Help Phone to support youth mental health. The challenge finished with an #OlympicDay celebration webcast on June 23rd viewed by tens of thousands of students.
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 healthcare 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.
Past contributions from Andre De Grasse Family Foundation
Board of Directors
For inquires re: corporate partnership opportunities, please contact: Brian Levine
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