aaron brown sprinter

Toronto sprinter Aaron Brown kept photo of his family under race bib during 200m final

They may not have been in the stands but Toronto runner Aaron Brown is keeping his family close to his heart during these Olympics.

The 29-year-old runner won a bronze for Canada in the Olympic Games at Rio in 2016 in the 4x100m relay.

In Tokyo, he ran an impressive 19.99 seconds in the 200m semi-final.

But in the 200m final, teammate Andre De Grasse claimed gold and Brown placed sixth with a time of 20:20.

After the race, Brown said he had mixed feelings.

"I would have liked to have given a better performance in the final but I know there's more opportunities ahead," Brown told CBC in a post-race interview. "I won't let one race define me."

He also said he was happy for his teammates.

But in what might be one of the sweetest moments in the Tokyo games, Brown showed CBC the other side of his running bib.

"Just as a reminder of who I run for. This is what matters to me most and as long as they are proud of me, I am happy at the end of the day," Brown said. "I run for Canada, I run for my fans but most importantly, I run for my family."

The pandemic has meant no family members or spectators were allowed to attend the games.

Brown is married to Preeya Milburn and announced the birth of his son, Kingsley Nico Brown on Jan. 26, 2021 in Orlando, Florida where he lives and trains.

Brown grew-up in Toronto and attended Birchmount Park Collegiate before going to the University of Southern California on a track scholarship. He started running track at age 16 thanks to high school coach Bill Stephens.

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