Canadian Support Will Boost De Grasse at the Olympics

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( — July 28, 2021) — Andre De Grasse believes that the backing of his home nation will inspire him to glory at this summer’s Olympic Games.

The Canadian sprinter picked up one silver and two bronze medals at Rio 2016, but he has his sights set firmly on gold this time around.

Injuries hit De Grasse hard after the Games, but he bounced back in style to claim two more medals at the 2019 World Championships in Doha.

He has been in good form over the past few months and arrives in Tokyo with Canadian fans desperate to see him win gold.

Betway recently sat down with De Grasse to discuss whether he could handle the weight of expectation placed on him. 

“People say: ‘What does it feel like to have the weight of the country on your shoulders?’,” he said.

“It just feels awesome that people would say that because I never realize how many kids and people I inspire back home.

“You never really realize that until you go to an event or show up at a kid’s school and you’re like: ‘Oh, wow, all these people are inspired by my performances and what I’ve done for the country.’

“I know my country put that pressure on me. They always believed that I could do it, people, back home.

“I try to go out there, have pride and do my best, and try to just make myself, my family, and my country proud. It’s just really amazing to run for a country like Canada.”

De Grasse’s tally of three medals already makes him one of the most successful Canadian sprinters in history, although the country does have a chequered record where the Olympics are concerned.

Ben Johnson’s disqualification after winning the 100 meters in Seoul in 1988 cast a shadow over Canadian sport, leaving fans across the country distraught.

However, Donovan Bailey’s stunning triumph in the same event at the 1996 Games in Atlanta restored national pride.

De Grasse regularly speaks with the former Olympic champion and says that he has received support from another previous Canadian medallist at the Games. 

“Donovan messages me, Bruny Surin messages me all the time, so it’s pretty awesome that the people before who have done it are rooting for me,” he added.

“I met Donovan back in 2015 when I won the Pan American Games in Toronto. And then I had a little event in 2016, I invited him and he came out. 

“It was pretty cool, pretty awesome to talk to him and hear stories about back when he was running.

“I hear it in the media all the time, him rooting for me and telling people that I’m going to do great things. So that really inspires me and keeps me focused.”

De Grasse is amongst the favorites to win medals in both the 100m and 200m, although his best chance is likely to come in the longer event.

He has already won silver in the event at the Olympics and World Championships, and it would be no surprise to see him go one better this time around.