Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #47, Andre De Grasse
Our annual ranking of the people whose smarts, connections and clout are changing the city as we know it
Andre De Grasse
47 Almost 20 years after Donovan Bailey fever gripped the nation, Canada finally has another sprinter worth getting excited about. Scarborough-born Andre De Grasse made his presence known with two gold medal finishes at the Pan Am Games. The following month, he went on to a pair of bronze medals at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing, where he finished just 0.13 seconds behind the world’s fastest human, Usain Bolt, in the 100 metres. De Grasse could have chosen to cash in, lining up sponsorship deals with sports drink makers and athletic wear companies. Instead, he decided to return to his life as a student athlete at the University of Southern California—a smart long-term call, because it will give him time to develop his running skills away from the deafening hype that might otherwise envelop him.
The Rio Olympics in 2016. By the time he gets there, he should be in the best shape of his life.