Rest In Peace, World Champion Athlete has Passed Away at 29
Canadian pole vaulter and world champion Shawn Barber, aged 29, has tragically passed away at his home in Kingwood, Texas. The news was confirmed by his agent Paul Doyle to CNN on Thursday. Barber, who set the Canadian record for men’s pole vault in January 2016, had an illustrious career marked by numerous achievements, including a gold medal at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto and a victory at the IAAF World Championships in Beijing later that same year.
Barber’s passing, attributed to medical complications, was announced by the University of Akron’s athletics department. The statement revealed that the talented athlete had been battling poor health for some time. During his college years, Barber was a standout member of the University of Akron’s track and field team, clinching three NCAA championships. Described as a well-liked teammate and competitor, he left an indelible mark on the university’s athletic community.
The University of Akron remembered Barber not only for his outstanding athletic prowess but also for his exceptional character. In a statement, they highlighted his selfless nature, stating, “More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself.”
Shawn Barber’s agent, Paul Doyle, expressed the tragedy of losing such a remarkable individual at a young age. “It’s tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age,” said Doyle to the Associated Press, confirming the sad news to CNN.
Barber made his Olympic debut at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games, where he showcased his skills and earned a spot in the final. Although he didn’t secure the top spot, the competition was won by Thiago Braz of Brazil. Barber’s best vault, a remarkable 6 meters, still stands as the Canadian record, according to Olympics.com.
The University of Akron’s statement conveyed that Barber is survived by his brother David, his mother Ann, and his father George. The news of Shawn Barber’s untimely death has sent shockwaves through the sports community, mourning the loss of a phenomenal athlete and a compassionate individual.
To hear more about Barber’s death, check out the video below.
How do you think the sports community can honor and remember individuals like Shawn for their character and contributions both on and off the field?