The 2017 Canadian Track and Field Championships is acting as a crystalization of Andre De Grasse’s celebrity. The sprinter has drawn out the mainstream media often absent from track events, and massive crowds to see him dominate the 100m and 200m races.
And like other marquee pro athletes, De Grasse is also in Ottawa with a sizeable entourage. Some 30-40 of his relatives, including his mother, as well as close friends crowded into the stands wearing matching T-shirts provided by De Grasse’s sponsor, Puma. On Friday night, for the 100m final, they wore coordinated red shirts, and switched it up on Saturday to a black tech-T with his name in cursive similar to his tattoos on the back and sillouette of him running on the front. They also printed custom white skirts and pants with his picture on them.
De Grasse is proving to be a transcendent figure in Canadian sports, connecting track racing to a massive audience after he took home multiple medals at last year’s Olympics and triggered many a meme due to his competitive bromance with Usain Bolt.
De Grasse will look to win the 200m on Sunday, a title he did not win last year, even though he is the Canadian record holder at the distance. One thing is for sure, he will have a big built-in fanbase to cheer him on.