Shawn Barber, the Canadian pole vault record holder and 2015 world champion, passed away at 29 due to medical complications. Barber, known for his exceptional talent, died at his home in Kingwood, Texas. Despite health issues, he remained a kind-hearted person who put others ahead of himself, according to his agent, Paul Doyle.


Barber’s remarkable career included back-to-back NCAA indoor championships in 2014 and 2015, followed by a gold medal at the Pan-Am Games. In 2015, he became the world champion in pole vaulting, triumphing over Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe. A finalist at the 2016 Rio Olympics, Barber’s best vault of six meters in 2016 remains the Canadian record.

Shawn Barber
Photo by: Frank Gunn/CP

Shawn Barber’s legacy extends beyond his athletic achievements, marking him not only as a Canadian pole vault legend but also as a compassionate individual fondly remembered by the global sports community.