On the eve of the Rio Summer Olympics, I had the chance to chat with Canadian sprinter (and Olympic hopeful) Andre De Grasse to get some insight on what it’s like to be competing in the upcoming Games.
DM: How does it feel to be called the fastest man in Canada?
ADG: It feels fantastic to be able to claim that title. It’s not easy and it takes a lot of hard work, dedication and sacrifice. I’m happy with my performances last year and to claim that title. I’m just trying to keep the momentum going for this year.
DM: Do you feel pressure with that title?
ADG: There is always a bit of jitters, especially when you are warming up…you feel it, but once you’re in the lineup it’s go time and you’re ready.
DM: You started out playing basketball when you were younger…
ADG: I was into soccer and when I got to high school it was basketball.
DM: What was it like to transition from a team to an individual sport?
ADG: It was pretty tough. You’re used to having someone beside you to help you out and take you through things. If you’re not on your game, there’s always someone else to pick up the slack for you as a point guard. Now you’ve got to motivate yourself, whereas other guys were motivating you before. Now it’s totally different, but I’ve gotten the hang of it in the past year or two.
DM: What is your biggest source of motivation?
ADG: Of course family and friends…they always keep me going. Things can get tough with ups and downs. I also have a great partnership with Gillette, which shares the same goals and ideals with me.
DM: Can you share a bit about your grooming routine?
ADG: I use the Gillette Pro Fusion shield razor, it’s new on the market and it’s very good! As well, I’m a fan of Old Spice. I really like their deodorant.
DM: What are you most looking forward to at the Olympics in Rio?
ADG: It’s my first Olympics, so I don’t know what to expect. I’m just excited. Most of the guys on my team went to the Olympics in London, so I’m kind of a newbie. I’ve been told there is going to be a nice Olympic village and it’s going to be totally different. I’m really just looking forward to being on that podium and making that 100 meter final and just shock the world.
DM: Do you believe in luck, or do you think it is self-made?
ADG: I think maybe 20 per cent of things are luck. The rest I leave up to God, hard work and dedication. I know if I’m on top of my game at practice, taking care of my body and staying healthy…that’s keeping me.
DM: With all your hard training, what do you do to relax?
ADG: I take a break, because sometimes it gets a little intense. You find things are not going as well as you want them to. So sometimes I take a break and come back to Toronto. I like to hang out with friends and do things that I like doing on my off-season. Perhaps go to a party or a movie. It’s important to take my mind off things. It can’t be strictly track, track, track, because you’re just going to burn yourself out mentally.
DM: Do you have any good luck charms?
ADG: I always wear my cross on a chain and my gold earrings. I like jewellery. Also my favourite shoes. I make sure I have those things.
Follow us along our journey and cheer Team Canada along as Glow reports live from the Olympics. #glowXolympics