Illustration by Sara Kravlovanszky
For Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse, his gym bag holds what’s practical, but other things are just for style.
After his iconic photo with Usain Bolt at the 2016 Rio Olympics, everyone knew Andre De Grasse’s name. But it wasn’t just the picture-perfect moment that got him international attention. It was his talent, speed, and ability to keep up with the greatest sprinters of all time. De Grasse opened up his season at the end of March with a meet in Florida, where he’s currently training. His main goal is preparing for the Diamond League track competitions and then his focus shifts to the World Championships in Qatar this September. Ultimately, he’s gearing up for the 2020 Olympics. Off the track, he’s working with his newly launched Future Champions Fund, which helps send kids to track-and-field meets. We caught up with De Grasse to talk about what he keeps in his bag on race day.
What’s something you always keep with you during a race?
I usually race with my bracelet and chain. My mom bought those for me and I never take them off, even when I sleep. I’m different than everyone else on the track from a style standpoint. I’m one of the smaller guys out there and I bring a unique sense of style to track that shows people you can be any size or shape to run fast.
How do you get in the right headspace before a race?
Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions?
My pre-game ritual is stretching, eating, and making sure I’m hydrated. Other than that, there’s nothing fancy. When I first started, I used to think I had to wear this or do that, but now I’m in my element—I don’t really have superstitions anymore. My mindset changed when I stopped letting little things get to me. I just focused, stopped making excuses, and things would go well.
Can you take us through your gym bag?
I wear Puma Speed 300 S and evoSPEED electric spikes. I carry my Apple AirPods and Apple watch, then some Pampers wipes to clean my hands, a Gatorade towel, bottle, and electrolytes. I usually have a banana or Dad’s oatmeal cookies—those are my favourites. I also have a rolling stick and tennis or golf ball for rolling out my smaller muscles.
What’s something you always carry when you travel?
That would be my Nintendo Switch. I feel like it’s come in clutch for me lately, especially when I’m on long plane rides. It’s portable so I can take it with me and play all day on the plane until I fall asleep.