Former World pole vault champion Shawn Barber dies aged 29

Former World pole vault champion Shawn Barber has died aged 29. Barber competes during the men's pole vault event at the Morocco Diamond League athletics competition in Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on July 13, 2018. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)Former World pole vault champion Shawn Barber has died aged 29. Barber competes during the men's pole vault event at the Morocco Diamond League athletics competition in Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on July 13, 2018. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP)
Former World pole vault champion Shawn Barber has died aged 29. Barber competes during the men's pole vault event at the Morocco Diamond League athletics competition in Prince Moulay Abdellah Stadium in Rabat on July 13, 2018. (Photo by FADEL SENNA / AFP) | AFP via Getty Images
Canada’s former world pole vault champion Shawn Barber has passed away from medical complications at the age of 29

Former world pole vault champion and record Shawn Barber has died at the age of 29. He won a gold at the 2015 Pan American Games and then only weeks later captured the world title in Beijing. Reuters reported that Barber’s agent Paul Doyle confirmed to them that “he died Wednesday (January 17 2024) at home in Kirkwood, Texas of medical complications.”

Paul Doyle told Reuters that Shawn was “More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself. A day later, he said that “It’s tragic to lose a good person at such a young age.”

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Shawn Barber still holds the Canadian record for the best jump of 6.0 metres, which he set on January 15, 2016. He started competing in pole vault at the tender age of seven and won not only the NCAA indoor titles for the University of Akron in 2014 and the following year, but also won the 2015 NCAA outdoor title.

Shawn Barber  was born in Las Cruces in Mexico, but his father George was born in Kincardine in northwest of Toronto. Shawn decided to follow in his father’s footsteps and compete for Canada. Athletics Canada paid tribute to Shawn Barber on X, formerly known as Twitter and said: “Our thoughts and prayers to the family and friends of Shawn Barber, Canadian pole vaulter-2015 world champion, Rio 2016 Olympian and Canadian record holder.”

Although the cause of Shawn Barber's death is not yet known, it had been reported that he had been suffering from health issues. Shawn Barber is survived by his father George, his mother Ann and his brother David.

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