Andre De Grasse thinks back to the success he had at Varsity Stadium when he was still in high school and no one knew his name.
Not long after taking to the track for the first time, De Grasse ended up at an invitational meet at Varsity Stadium and blew away the field of competitors. He still remembers being shocked when he found out he placed first, having beaten the sprinters who he thought were untouchable.
“They gave me lane eight because I wasn’t one of the fastest guys at the time so my coaches told me just go out there and don’t focus on anyone else. I crossed the line and I didn’t even know that I won. I looked up at the score board and saw that I ran a personal best,” he says. “It’s a cool story I guess. I look back at it now and being at Varsity Stadium was all part of my story.”
Next summer, he’s heading back to this stadium where his career really started. This time around, most Canadians are fans of his as he’s one of the most celebrated runners in the country. He’ll show up to race that’s been officially named Toronto:2018 Track & Field in the 6ix. The meet will be the host for the NACAC championships.
De Grasse will come to the stadium now an Olympic and Pan Am Games medallist ready not only to race, but hopefully to break the Canadian 100m record in front of the nation’s fans – if he hasn’t already done so by then.
The meet is scheduled for Aug. 10-12. For De Grasse, running at the stadium at home will bring things full circle.
“That was the first time I ever raced in Toronto before the Pan Am Games before I became who I am today so it’s just a great feeling for me,” he said.