Athletics — Targeting Paris 2024
2022 IAAF World Championship – Gold Medalist, 4x100m Relay
2021 Olympic Games – Silver Medalist, 4x100m Relay
2012 Olympic Games – 9th Place, 200m
Hometown: Toronto, Ontario
Canada's Aaron Brown went into the 2018 season full of confidence as a consistent finaliist in 200m with several Diamond Leagure podium performances against the best sprinters in the world.
But he was still searching for a moment to break the elusive 20-second barrier.
In the previous season, the Toronto native was disqualified in the heats of the 200m at the 2017 IAAF Track World Championships after stepping on the inside line of the bend.
"Believe it or not, it was kind of a positive…when I look back at it," Aaron said.
So the evolving challenges at the end of the season weren't just how to break the 20-second barrier but how to sustain sub-20 second times and be better prepared in the biggest meets when it mattered most.
Aaron and his coach, Dennis Mitchell, went back to the drawing board that off-season and discussed their plans for the following year.
And Aaron went to work.
The early results were promising with a silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, multiple podium finishes in the Diamond League and a Canadian Championship in both the 100m and 200m.
Aaron knew that if he truly wanted to be a contender in the 200m in Tokyo, 2018 had to be the year that he ran under 20-seconds.
With a blazing start and the strong finish he had worked for, Aaron finally found his moment and broke the 20-second barrier with a time of 19.98 seconds running to second place.
But where would he find those elusive hundredths of a second?
He knew from experience that his quick start placed him in more favourable positions heading down the stretch and decided to focus on interval and endurance training to help improve his finish.
"I've been pretty good at the first 50m so far and I've been leading most of the races," Aaron noted. "It's just the last 50m that I still need to work on and that will take me to even faster times."
Then, at the Diamond League in Oslo, the opportunity to put it all together presented itself and he made the most of his moment.
First thoughts after crossing the finish line?
“It’s about damn time,” he joked.
With the barrier behind him, he returned home to the Canadian Championships winning the 200m with ease and reclaiming the title of Canada's fastest man after topping Bismark Boateng and Andre De Grasse in the 100m Finals.
It was a double title he had previously owned in 2013.
"It's nice to have it back because it's something that you work hard towards. Being a double national champion heading towards 2021, that gives me a lot of confidence," Brown said.
In January 2021, Aaron and wife Preeya Milburn welcomed their newborn son Kingsley and becoming a dad began to expand Aaron's perspective about how his track career should be about something bigger than just himself.
He didn't run for personal glory, he ran for his family, his coach, his Canadian teammates, his sponsors and most of all, for Kingsley.
"Now it's just kind of magnified, right?" Brown said. "Because above all that, now I'm running for my son, not only to provide, but also set an example of what's possible, to show him you can grow up and dream and aim for high goals, just because that's what your father was doing."
In Tokyo 2021, Aaron joined his Canadian brothers in the Team Relay to finish third — a bronze medal that was later upgraded to silver — leaving some unfinished business for the team in Paris 2024.
He proved the depth of his training becoming the only athlete to compete in the Finals of both the 100m and 200m at the 2022 IAAF World Championships.
At the start of the 2023 season, Aaron blazed to a pre-season 9.97-second 100m, just off his personal best 9.96, showing that his sprint speed is already in solid form.
A 200m specialist, Aaron will begin the 2023 Diamond League season playing double-duty in both 100m and 200m events with a goal of consistently approaching sub-20-second times and building the supreme sprinting confidence required to compete for the medals at each event.
The evolution of Aaron Brown as a teammate, husband, father and sprinter continues.
In Paris 2024, he'll work with an incredibly-talented Canadian team seeking its first gold medal in the 4x100m Relay since Atlanta 1996.
And, of course, he'll be prepared to make the most of his moment in the 200m Finals and blaze his way onto the Olympic podium.