“Starting Blocks” with Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown
“The Meet Up” is a series of live events where elite athletes join us to offer their advice to the next generation of track and field talent. On the third episode of “The Meet Up” series, “Starting Blocks,” we interviewed Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown.
Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown are both Olympic sprinters who specialize in the 100 and 200 meters. These Canadians also happen to be Olympic bronze medalists in the 4x100m relay. For post-secondary De Grasse and Brown both ended up travelling down south to The University of Southern California from their home province of Ontario; however, their paths getting to that point were very different.
This article recaps episode three of the Meet Up series. In this episode, we interview Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown about the different recruitment paths they took to university, their overall experience as student-athletes, and their journeys to the Olympic stage.
If you missed the last episode, “The Female Field,” check it out HERE for an interview and Q&A with Alysha Newman, Liz Gleadle, and Christabel Nettey.
Meet the athletes
Aaron Brown is a University of Southern California alumni and Canadian sprinter specializing in the 100 and 200 metres. He won an Olympic bronze medal as part of Canada’s 4x100m relay team at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. Brown was also a 2012 Olympian and part of Canada’s relay teams in the 4x100m at the 2013 and 2015 World Athletics Championships. During his time at USC Brown earned All-American status in both the 100m and 200m dashes.
Andre De Grasse
Andre de Grasse is also a University of Southern California alumni, having transferred from Coffeyville Community College after his sophomore year. He is a Canadian sprinter who specializes in the 100 and 200 metres. He won the silver medal in the 200m and bronze medals in both the 100m and 4x100m relay at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, is the current Canadian record holder in the 200m, bronze medallist in the 100m, and silver in the 200m at the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha. During this time at USC, De Grasse became the NCAA champion in both the 100m and 200m.
Highlights of the episode
Here are some of the questions we covered in our interview. Be sure to check out the recording of the episode (above) for the full stories and perspectives from Andre De Grasse and Aaron Brown.
- What were your priorities in choosing a school?
- What was one thing you wish you knew in your recruitment journey?
- How did you balance your training and competition schedule with school and social life?
- What collegiate accomplishment are you most proud of?
- How do you deal with the pressure and stay level-headed through it all?
- What advice would you give to your collegiate self going into your first year?
- What have been your biggest challenges throughout your career (ie. mental, injuries, balance, performances), and how have you overcome them?
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