Canadian sprinting star Andre De Grasse has a busy year ahead of him with what will be his second Olympics, and his schedule is about to get even more packed as a book he co-authored will be released in the coming months. Race With Me! is a children’s picture book that follows De Grasse’s life, focusing on his childhood, his time in the sport and how he has overcome adversity to get to where he is today as one of the world’s top sprinters.
Robert Budd — an author and radio host from Victoria — co-wrote the book with De Grasse, and Joseph Osei Bonsu of Mississauga, Ont., provided the illustrations. Along with Bonsu’s work, photos from De Grasse’s life will also be included throughout the book, which is written for children ages six to 10.
Scholastic and De Grasse hope that by detailing his journey into the sport, the book will inspire young readers. With Budd’s help, De Grasse writes about the first race of his career, which many Canadian running fans will know well. Then in high school, the Markham, Ont., native decided to race on a whim after his friend invited him to a meet.
Decked out in baggy shorts and Converse sneakers, De Grasse didn’t even use the starting blocks (he had no clue what those were), but he managed to win his heat. His life changed after that, and after dedicating more time to the sport (and getting some compression shorts and spikes), he quickly matured into one of the best sprinters in Canadian history.
Now, De Grasse has three Olympic medals (one silver, two bronze), four world championship medals (one silver, three bronze) and the Canadian 200m record (19.80 seconds), and he will be one of the favourites in the sprints at the Tokyo Games this summer. That’s about the same time that Race With Me! is set to hit stores — July 6, just a few weeks before the Opening Ceremonies in Tokyo on July 23.