Record-Holding Athlete Dies Suddenly of ‘Medical Complications’ at 29

Canadian world champion pole vaulter Shawn Barber has died suddenly at just 29 years old.

The elite athlete was the pole vault record holder and 2015 world champion.

Barber died Wednesday at home in Kingwood, Texas, his agent, Paul Doyle, confirmed to The Associated Press (AP).

The cause of death has not been revealed.

According to the AP, Barber died after suffering “medical complications.”

In a statement about Barber’s unexpected passing, Doyle said:

“More than just an incredible athlete, Shawn was such a good-hearted person that always put others ahead of himself.

“It’s tragic to lose such a good person at such a young age.”

Barber was a standout pole vaulter at the University of Akron.

He secured back-to-back NCAA indoor championships in 2014 and 2015.

The top athlete won the NCAA outdoor crown as well in 2015.

He then went on to take gold later that summer at the Pan-Am Games.

Barber carried a wave of momentum into the world stage that season in Beijing.

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He took gold over Germany’s Raphael Marcel Holzdeppe.

A year later, Barber made the final at the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics in a pole vault event won by Thiago Braz of Brazil.

Barber is a dual citizen of the United States and Canada.

Barber’s best vault was six meters (19 feet, 8 ¼ inches) on Jan. 15, 2016, in Reno, Nevada.

His mark remains the Canadian record.

Dennis Mitchell, the former Akron men’s and women’s track and field and cross country coach, described Barber to the Akron Beacon Journal as “extremely smart” and “the nicest guy ever.”

He’s survived by his mother, Ann; father, George; and brother, David.

READ MORE: Daily Mail Sports Reporter Drops Dead at Australian Open

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By Frank Bergman

Frank Bergman is a political/economic journalist living on the east coast. Aside from news reporting, Bergman also conducts interviews with researchers and material experts and investigates influential individuals and organizations in the sociopolitical world.

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