The Real Story Behind Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse’s Iconic Smile During an Olympics Race

Published 10/01/2021, 4:03 AM EDT
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 17: Andre de Grasse of Canada (L) and Usain Bolt of Jamaica (C) react as they compete in the Men’s 200m Semifinals on Day 12 of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games at the Olympic Stadium on August 17, 2016 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)


Usain Bolt and Andre De Grasse are by far the best track and field athletes in the history of the sport. Notably, the two shared one of the most iconic moments on track during the 2016 Olympic games.

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Usain ‘Lightning’ Bolt is a record holder in namely three events- 100m, 200m as well as 4x100m. In his glorious career, he swept a grand total of 8 Olympic gold medals, giving him the legendary stature he has today.

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Not too far behind himself, Canadian favorite, Andre De Grasse also specializes in 100m and 200m. The 26-year-old has managed to win 6 Olympic medals and is a record holder in his country, for 200m.

A memorable moment for Andre and Bolt

During the 200m semi-finals, at the Summer Olympics 2016, the two athletes, Andre and Bolt, shared an unforgettable moment. Even though engaged in a highly intense battle for the first place, they looked at each other and smiled. The candid moment captured turned into one of the most iconic Olympic pictures in the event’s history.

BEIJING – AUGUST 20: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after breaking the world record with a time of 19.30 to win the gold medal in the Men’s 200m Final ahead of Churandy Martina of Netherlands Antilles Brian Dzingai of Zimbabwe and Shawn Crawford of the United States at the National Stadium during Day 12 of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games on August 20, 2008, in Beijing, China. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

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Since it was a race to qualify for the finals, the two wanted to have some fun. Running beside him, Andre almost caught up with Bolt. Remarkably, Usain too slowed down and smirked at Andre as the two finished the race together, like buddies.

Bolt and Andre, the greatest sprinters of all time

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In 2009, Bolt became the fastest man on earth, completing a 100m race in 9.58 seconds. Even a decade later, despite giving it their all, none have come close to breaking the Lightning Bolt’s record.

At the Tokyo Olympics, Andre not only broke his previous record, but he revamped the numbers for his country as well. Completing the 200m race in just 19.73 seconds, he finished first in the semi-final feat. With that timing, he’s now the 8th fastest man in the history of 200m.

TOKYO, JAPAN – AUGUST 04: First-placed Canada’s Andre De Grasse celebrates after winning the men’s 200m final during day twelve of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 4, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo Ben Stansall – Pool/Getty Images)

While Usain retired back in 2017, Andre is still out there, giving it his all on the track. Undoubtedly, he misses the rivalry with his favorite counterpart.

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Divya Chaturvedi

125 articles

Divya Chaturvedi is an Olympic Athletics author at EssentiallySports, currently pursuing her Under Graduate degree in Psychology from the University of Delhi. She's also an internationally recognized athlete, specializing in Shot Put and Discus, representing India at the International Children's Games held in Australia has been one of the biggest feats in her endeavor so far. Having participated in The Road to Wimbledon and representing the state several times, she bagged a number of titles for the same.

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