2024 is already sizing up to be a difficult year. Many people have passed away this year, and this includes a Canadian pole vaulter, Sean Barber. He was only 29 years old when he died on January 17 at home in Kingswood, Texas.
The death was verified by his agent, Paul Doyle, who gave a statement to the Associated Press. Although there was not much disclosed about the reasons behind his death, they did say that it was attributed to medical complications.
Doyle spoke to the Associated Press on January 18, saying: “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.”
When you look at Barber’s athletic career, you can’t help but notice the achievements he has received over the years. This includes being the world champion in pole vaulting in 2015 when he was able to pass 5.90 m.
He also was victorious at the Pan-American games in that same year and went to Rio de Janeiro in 2016 to represent Canada in the Olympics.
Like many athletes, Barber showed a lot of potential but he also had some challenges as well. Ankle injuries disrupted his career in 2018 and he didn’t compete in 2019.
He also spoke in a 2020 interview about some personal issues, including some family problems and injuries that had an impact on his career. He said: “There were a lot of personal factors playing roles in my career that I had to re-evaluate and I’m still in the process of managing those relationships.”
At that time, he considered himself to be fairly healthy and he was looking forward to getting back to the sport again. In speaking about getting back on the field, he said: “It’s a lot of fun to have those early couple of meets.
“Something I’m looking forward to working on is just being able to show up and have fun at a meet without the sense of pressure.”
May he rest in peace.