Kansas City Chiefs’ Pro Bowler Tyreek Hill claims Canadian Olympian Andre De Grasse ‘blew my sneakers off’ in race

Andre De Grasse versus Tyreek Hill. Photo courtesy: Coffeyville Community College Red Ravens Athletics.

In the world of professional football, Tyreek Hill is synonymous with speed.

The Kansas City Chiefs star receiver has blown past opponents on the regular during his six seasons in the NFL, racking up 8,742 all purpose yards and 67 total touchdowns while earning the nickname “Cheetah.”

Many have wondered if anyone could beat the three-time first-team All-Pro in a race and at this year’s Pro Bowl, he finally provided an answer.

“Have I ever lost in a race? I have lost in a race, probably when I was a senior in high school when I went to Catalonia, Spain and raced in the Junior Olympics. I raced against this dude named [Andre] De Grasse,” Hill said in an NFL video clip, naming the famed Canadian sprinter and current 200-metre Olympic gold medalist.

Hill has apparently misremembered much about that meeting, with the matchup coming not at the 2012 World Junior Championship in Spain — which he erroneously dubbed the Junior Olympics — but rather at the 2013 NJCAA Outdoor Track and Field Championships in Hutchinson, KS. What he didn’t forget was the Canadian’s speed.

“This dude looked just like Drake. Crazy, I’m like, ‘I’m finna beat this dude.’ This dude ran like a 10-flat at the time, I was running a 10.1,” Hill recalled. “We raced, dude blew my sneakers off, he blew me out — it was crazy. After that, he had all my respect.”

Representing Coffeyville Community College, De Grasse claimed the 100-metre gold medal with a time of 9.96 seconds. Hill settled for the silver with a time of 9.98 seconds for Garden City Community College.

While Hill went on to football stardom after stints at Oklahoma State and West Alabama, De Grasse would transfer to the University of Southern California to continue his track career. He has since won six Olympic medals — four bronze, one silver and one gold — and in 2021 became the first Canadian sprinter to win three medals in a single Olympics.

J.C. Abbott is a University of British Columbia graduate and high school football coach. He covers the CFL, B.C. Lions, CFL Draft and the three-down league's Global initiative.