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How did the Canadian Pole Vaulter Die? 

Shawn Barber was a Canadian pole vaulter who passed away at the age of 29 from medical complications.

He was a world champion and held Canada’s pole vault record.

Barber won gold medals at the Pan American Games in Toronto and then at the World Championships in Beijing, as well as the country’s first athletics world title since 2003.

At the 2016 Pole Vault Summit in Reno, Nevada, Barber set Canada’s record clearance at six meters (19 feet, 8 ¼ inches).

Barber was also a three-time NCAA champion during his time at the University of Akron.

He came out as gay in 2017 in a social media post.

Barber’s death has been mourned by the sports community, with many paying tribute to his athletic achievements and his kind-hearted nature. 

He is survived by his mother, father and brother.

Early life and background

Barber was born in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and spent his childhood between Toronto and New Mexico.

His father, George, was born in Ontario, Canada. Barber learned how to pole vault as a child by throwing himself over a ditch at the farm where he lived. 

He started competing in pole vaulting at the age of seven. Barber was a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen.

He attended the University of Akron, where he was a student-athlete in the track and field program from 2013 to 2015.

Barber won three NCAA championships during his time at the university.

He won the NCAA indoor championship in 2014 and 2015 and the outdoor championship in 2015.

Barber set Canada’s pole vault record at six meters (19 feet, 8 ¼ inches) in January 2016 in Reno, Nevada.

He won the 2015 world championships in Beijing, China, with a mark of 5.90m.

Barber was also a five-time Canadian champion.

Shawn Barber PHOTO/Christian Charisius/Christian Charisius/Getty Images

Cause of death

Barber passed away at the age of 29 from medical complications.

The exact cause of his death has not been disclosed. Barber had been experiencing health issues for some time before his passing. 

His agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed that Barber died at his home in Kingwood, Texas.

Barber’s death has been deeply felt within the sports community, with many expressing their sorrow at the loss of such a talented and kind-hearted individual.

He will be remembered for his significant contributions to the sport of pole vaulting and his remarkable achievements throughout his career.

Barber’s official cause of death has not been publicly shared.

Medical complications that caused Shawn Barber’s death

The exact medical complications that caused Shawn Barber’s death have not been disclosed.

According to his agent, Paul Doyle, Barber had been experiencing health issues for some time before his passing.

Barber had suffered ankle injuries in 2018 and took a break from competing in 2019.

In a 2020 interview with CBC, Barber mentioned that he was dealing with personal issues, including injuries and family matters, that were affecting his career.

However, he also stated that he was “fairly healthy” at the time and was looking forward to returning to the sport.

Barber’s official cause of death has not been publicly shared, and it is unclear whether his previous health issues were related to his passing.

Reaction to Shawn Barber’s death

The athletic community has expressed deep sadness and shock at the passing of Barber.

Many have paid tribute to his remarkable achievements in pole vaulting and his kind-hearted nature.

Polish pole vaulter Piotr Lisek, who shared a podium with Barber at the 2015 World Championships, memorialized his former competitor on social media, calling him “one of the best pole vaulters in the world.”

The University of Akron Department of Athletics, where Barber was a student-athlete from 2013 to 2015, released a statement expressing their condolences and describing Barber as a “true champion.”

The Canadian Olympic Committee also released a statement, saying that they were “deeply saddened” by Barber’s passing and that he would be remembered as a “talented athlete and a kind-hearted person.”

Barber’s passing has been felt across the sports community, and he will be remembered for his significant contributions to the sport of pole vaulting and his remarkable achievements throughout his career.

Shawn Barber
Shaw Barber PHOTO/X, formerly Twitter

FAQ

What was Shawn Barber’s cause of death?

He passed away at the age of 29 from medical complications.

The exact cause of his death has not been disclosed.

How did Shawn Barber’s death affect the athletic community?

The athletic community has expressed deep sadness and shock at the passing of Barber.

Many have paid tribute to his remarkable achievements in pole vaulting and his kind-hearted nature.

What were some of Shawn Barber’s notable achievements in pole vaulting?

Barber was a Canadian pole vault record holder and 2015 world champion.

He won gold medals at the Pan American Games in Toronto and the World Championships in Beijing.

Barber also set Canada’s pole vault record at six meters (19 feet, 8 ¼ inches) in January 2016 in Reno, Nevada.

How did Shawn Barber’s early life and background contribute to his success in pole vaulting?

He learned how to pole vault as a child by throwing himself over a ditch at the farm where he lived.

He started competing in pole vaulting at the age of seven.

Barber attended the University of Akron, where he was a student-athlete in the track and field program from 2013 to 2015.

What were some of the medical complications that Shawn Barber experienced before his passing?

Barber had been experiencing health issues for some time before his passing.

He suffered ankle injuries in 2018 and took a break from competing in 2019.

In a 2020 interview, Barber mentioned that he was dealing with personal issues, including injuries and family matters, that were affecting his career.

How did Shawn Barber’s passing impact his family and friends?

He is survived by his mother, father and brother.

His passing has been deeply felt by his family and friends, who have expressed their sorrow and shared memories of his kind-hearted nature.

How did Shawn Barber’s passing impact the Canadian Olympic Committee?

The Canadian Olympic Committee released a statement expressing their condolences and describing Barber as a “talented athlete and a kind-hearted person.”

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