Aug. 2 was the date Canadian sprinter Andre De Grasse had circled on his calendar. That was to be the night of the men’s 100-metre dash final, and De Grasse’s opportunity to follow up his bronze medal from Rio 2016 with another piece of hardware in Tokyo at the 2020 Olympic Games.
That quickly changed this week as the new coronavirus pandemic continues to spread globally. On Tuesday, the International Olympic Committee announced its decision to postpone the Games until 2021 — a ruling that came two days after the Canadian Olympic Committee announced that it would not send athletes to the Olympic Games in Tokyo this summer unless the IOC agreed to delay the event.
De Grasse joined Tim & Sid on Tuesday to talk about what has been a stressful time waiting for both committees’ decisions.
“I didn’t really get much sleep. It definitely was taking a toll on me. I’ve had a lot of mixed emotions these past couple of days with the decision made by the Canadian Olympic Committee. But at least now, even though it’s unfortunate that the Games won’t be taking place and I won’t be getting a chance to race this year, Aug. 2, on that night, I think that was a great decision,” said De Grasse, whose historic performance at Rio 2016 saw him become the first Canadian to medal in all three sprint events. “Our health comes first and we’re athletes second. So, I’ve come to terms with it, I’ve come to peace with it, and now it’s just all about moving forward and figuring out where to go from here and trying to get ready for 2021, I guess.”
De Grasse also talked about the mental aspect of the current landscape, both in sports and in the world overall, and how quickly the constant onslaught of updates information can take its toll, mentally.
“Definitely my mental game has been tested a lot through this process, but I’ve just been trying hard to stay positive and just try to figure out ways how to move forward,” he said. “So, definitely today was a good sign that now that we know the Games will be in 2021, that gives me a little bit of ease and peace of mind that now I won’t be missing the Games.”