Shawnacy “Shawn” Barber, a renowned Canadian pole vaulter and the 2015 World Champion, passed away on January 17, 2024, at his home in Kingwood, Texas. He was 29 years old. The cause of his death was cited as medical complications following a period of ill health​​​​.

Cause of Death

At the time of his death, the specific medical complications leading to Barber’s passing were not disclosed. His agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed the death but did not provide further details on the exact cause​​.


Barber was born on May 27, 1994, making him 29 years old at the time of his death​​.

Net Worth

Barber’s net worth at the time of his death was estimated to be between $1 Million to $5 Million. His income primarily came from his career as a successful pole vaulter​​​​.

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Details about Barber’s health issues leading up to his death have not been made public. However, it was known that he was experiencing health challenges prior to his passing​​.


Barber had an illustrious career in pole vaulting. He won the World Championship in 2015 with a jump of 5.90 meters in Beijing. This achievement made him the first Canadian to win a world title in athletics since 2003. Barber also won a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow and was a Pan American Games champion in 2015. His personal best outdoor jump was 5.93 meters, and he held the Canadian indoor record with a jump of 6.00 meters​​​​.

In 2016, Barber tested positive for cocaine but was allowed to compete in the Olympics as the usage was deemed inadvertent, following his claims of an encounter through Craigslist the night before the Olympic trials​​​​.

Personal Life

Shawn Barber held dual Canadian-American citizenship, being born in New Mexico to a father who grew up in El Paso, Texas, but was born in Kincardine, Ontario. He moved to New Caney, Texas, with his mother following his parents’ divorce when he was ten. Barber publicly came out as gay in April 2017. He was not married and did not have children​​​​​​.

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Shawn Barber’s untimely death at 29 brought a promising athletic career to an abrupt end. He is remembered for his significant contributions to pole vaulting, including his record-breaking performances and world championship title. Despite challenges in his personal life, his achievements in sports remain a testament to his talent and dedication.