'I totally blanked out': Andre De Grasse’s mom describes pride after seeing son win bronze
TORONTO -- Beverly De Grasse says that she hardly remembers seeing her son race during the men’s 100-metre final at Olympic Stadium in Tokyo Sunday morning.
“It was so fast,” she said. “I totally blanked out of the race to be honest.”
It wasn’t until she say Andre De Grasse’s name on the board beside the words “bronze medal” that she realised he had placed.
“I’m very proud of what he accomplished in Tokyo. It must not have been easy for him…He had the weight of Canada on his shoulder.”
The 26-year-old from Markham, Ont. beat his personal best during that race by 0.01 seconds and became the first Canadian male to get on a podium in Tokyo.
Former Canadian Olympian and medalist Tony Sharpe, who took Andre under his wing at the Speed Academy Athletics Club in Pickering, Ont. called the performance inspiring.
“Whenever an athlete runs a personal best that’s all a coach can ask for,” he said. “To add an Olympic medal to that…a tremendous achievement.”
Beverly said that not being able to see him compete in person has been a challenge. Spectators have not been permitted into the Olympic Stadium due to COVID-19 regulations, leaving many families to watch their loved ones compete from their living rooms.
“What if he needs me … with everything that's going on with a pandemic? And you know, what if you contract with COVID over there, so I was constantly stressed about the whole experience,” she said. “At least he's bringing back some hardware to Canada.”
Despite not being able to be physically in Tokyo, Beverly said that she texts her son every day, adding that she can’t wait to see him and “give him a big hug and a kiss.”
Andre will be competing in the 200-metre race on Tuesday, an event he won silver in at the last Olympic Games.