Canadian sprint star Andre De Grasse was one of five athletes featured in The Equalizer, a new documentary on the CBC, which compares today’s athletes with performances and technology of the past.
Athletes in swimming, biking, rowing, and track and field use technology of their predecessors as sports scientists look to level the playing field of past and present performances to determine the effect of modern technology.
De Grasse, the two-time Pan Am Games champion and two-time world championships bronze medallist, races against Jesse Owens, the 1936 Olympic champion in the 100m. Owens time in 1936 was 10.3 seconds, which is superimposed on the screen for comparative purposes, while De Grasse has run 9.92.
Sports scientist Steve Haake has De Grasse run in leather spikes, on a dirt track, and without starting blocks, similar conditions Owens faced during the 1936 Olympics in Berlin (minus the crowd and presence of competitors).
In addition to his 100m gold medal in 1936, Owens won gold in the men’s long jump, 200m, and 4x100m; his story is documented in the new movie, Race.
The segment on De Grasse begins at the 1:30 mark and ends around 13:00 in the above episode, which aired on Thursday in its entirety on the CBC. The documentary is narrated by David Suzuki, a notable Canadian academic and science broadcaster, and aired as part of The Nature of Things.
De Grasse made his professional debut as a Puma-sponsored athlete at the Millrose Games in February winning the men’s 60m in 6.61 seconds. He currently trains in Phoenix with the ALTIS team, an elite training group featuring some of the world’s top sprinters and field athletes.