Andre De Grasse preparing to embrace fatherhood
'It's going to be a joyful time in my life,' says Canadian track star
Andre De Grasse was back in his hometown of Toronto last week to launch the Andre De Grasse Family Foundation at York University — but that wasn't the only reason.
The 23-year-old Olympic medallist also attended his own baby shower over the weekend as he confirmed to CBC Sports host Scott Russell he's going to be a father.
He and girlfriend Nia Ali, who met while running track together at the University of Southern California, are expecting a baby in July.
De Grasse sat down with Russell to discuss the Family Foundation, as well as the start of his own.
"Being a father is exciting for me," De Grasse said through a huge grin.
"I've learned a lot in these past couple of years."
While De Grasse expressed his joy and excitement to be a father, he understands the hard work it takes to succeed — similar to his life on the track.
"It's more responsibility as you get older. I still don't know if it's going to be a boy or a girl; I don't know if I'll have a daughter or a son," he laughed.
"It's going to be a joyful time in my life."
No matter if it's a boy or girl, De Grasse's child will be gifted with some incredibly quick genes, since Ali is a decorated track star of her own.
The 29-year-old American is a two-time world indoor championship gold medallist in the 60-metre hurdles. She also won a silver medal in the 100 hurdles at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.
De Grasse and coach Tony Sharpe will be running clinics during the off-season as part of The Family Foundation's mandate to help promising young athletes.
"If I ever had the chance to be able to be a star one day, I'd want to give back to the kids and for them to be able to have the resources and the mentorship I had," he said.
"It's pretty awesome to be able to do this for the kids. Moving forward, that's going to be my legacy. I want people to remember me for something off the track."
After a nine-month break from racing to rehabilitate a hamstring injury that kept him out of the 2017 world championships and 2018 Commonwealth Games, De Grasse has competed in three events this year, and is also set to run at the Harry Jerome International Track Classic on June 26-27 in Burnaby, B.C.
That will most likely be his last competition before he begins life as a father. But he's prepared for the extra responsibility.
"I want to have that competitive edge and be the guy who wins it all and has fun doing it. There's going to be a little more on the plate," he says.
"But that doesn't mean I can't get it done."
With files from Devin Heroux