De Grasse just wants to do his best at Tokyo

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With the 2020 Olympics finally underway, there are athletes from around the globe looking to prove themselves. After years of training, there is no better reward than the much-coveted Olympic gold. De Grasse already had three Olympic medals to his name from Rio back in 2016 but, as yet, the gold has been somewhat elusive. While for other athletes this would be a source of intense pressure, Andre De Grasse seems a little more laid back about the expectations that he carries on his shoulders. Betway interviewed Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse: “I think I have done a good job of coping with that [pressure] because I’ve had that experience from 2016.” He added: “I feel like I have a lot more experience on my side. I know what to expect, whether that’s warming up, going to the call room or going through the rounds.”

De Grasse in Rio

At the age of 21, Rio was De Grasse’s first taste of an Olympic games. As a contender in the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay, De Grasse came into the tournament with nothing to prove to anyone other than himself. The youngster had trained hard and was now on the world stage with no expectations placed upon him. This was his opportunity to race and prove to himself what he was capable of and boy did he prove a lot!

No one could have imagined how his first showdown with Usain Bolt would turn out. At such a tender age, one can only imagine how it must feel to be neck a neck with the fastest man in the world, but that is exactly what De Grasse did. The last 50m of the 200m semi-final saw Bolt ease off the gas and De Grasse spotted an opportunity. He put his head down and went for it. Ultimately De Grasse and Bolt crossed the line at the same time.

Did De Grasse think he could outdo Bolt?

De Grasse is clearly a talented young man but he is also humble with it. Back in 2016 in that semi-final, he knew that Bolt had eased off. He wasn’t so arrogant to think that at his first Olympics he could outrun the fastest man on the planet. Instead, he took advantage of Bolt slowing. 

De Grasse describes it as being out there and having fun. He spotted a chance and simply thought that he’d go for it. For De Grasse, it is not about the pressures of taking gold, it is about having fun while doing the very best that he can.

What to expect in Tokyo 

Tokyo is a little different for De Grasse when compared to Rio. In 2016, he was a relative unknown and no one was looking to him for a win. The fact that he went home from his first Olympics with three medals in the bag means that expectations are a little different this time around. Does this bother De Grasse? Not one bit.

De Grasse is only too aware that his country is looking at him to bring back at least one gold from the Olympics games. For him though, his focus is on making himself and his family proud. Rather than gold being a requirement, De Grasse has the belief that, regardless of any outcome, he can hold his head high as long as he knows that he has done his best.