Canadian sprinter and Olympic medal hopeful Andre De Grasse spent his downtime between training sessions recently filming a commercial with Pizza Pizza. The Markham, Ont. native starred in what has got to be one of the cheesier commercials ahead of the Rio Olympics.
Judging by the commercial, De Grasse prefers Hawaiian-style pizza with pineapple, ham and lots of cheese. He takes off from his starting blocks and runs past the camera right into a local Pizza Pizza shop. The fast food chain has more than 500 locations across Canada but is predominantly Ontario-based.
“Had a fun time shooting with Pizza Pizza back home in Markham,” De Grasse wrote on Twitter. De Grasse was born in Scarborough but grew up in nearby Markham, part of the Greater Toronto Area.
De Grasse is a double gold medallist at the Pan Am Games in the 100m and 200m. The 21-year-old signed a lucrative, multi-year deal with Puma this winter and trains with the ALTIS sprint group based out of Phoenix, Ariz.
He won two bronze medals at the 2015 world championships, listed as his accomplishments in the Pizza Pizza ad.
— Andre De Grasse (@De6rasse) June 13, 2016
It’s not the first time a Canadian sprinter has appeared in a somewhat cringeworthy commercial with a food and beverage product. In 2006, Ben Johnson, the Canadian sprinter who was banned for life for using performance-enhancing drugs, infamously appeared in multiple commercials for the all-natural energy drink Cheetah Power Surge.
His notorious line from the ad includes “I cheetah all the time,” a play on words from his doping ban, ironic since the energy drink was marketed as all-natural.