Shawn Barber

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Vital Statistics

Born 5/27/1994
Height 187cm
Weight 82kg
Birthplace Las Cruces, New Mexico
Hometown Toronto, Canada
Sport Track & Field
Events Pole Vault


Gold Medallist at Toronto 2015 with a Pan Am record vault.

Pole vaulter Shawnacy ‘Shawn’ Barber captured gold at the 2015 IAAF World Championships for what was just Canada’s fifth ever world title in athletics. It was the first gold medal won by a Canadian in anything other than a sprint event. A two-time Canadian champion, Barber had his international breakthrough at the 2012 World Junior Championships where he won pole vault bronze. He went on to make his senior world championship debut a year later and then captured bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.

It’s been on the NCAA circuit where Barber has really made a name for himself while competing for Akron University. He won back-to-back NCAA indoor pole vault titles in 2014 and 2015, adding the outdoor title in 2015, earning him consecutive school Male Athlete of the Year honours. Barber went on to win gold at Toronto 2015 with a Pan Am record vault of 5.80m


Personal Bests

Event Height Date Location
Pole Vault 5.93 25 JUL 2015 London (Olympic Stadium)
Pole Vault 5.92 02 SEP 2015 Zürich (Hauptbahnhof)



Parents George and Ann Barber. Brother David Braden Barber… His father was born in Ontario and the family splits time between the United States and Canada. His father competed in pole vault at the 1983 World Championships and is his primary coach.

Getting into the Sport:

When dad George Barber coached track at New Mexico State University, he would bring along his two young sons Shawnacy and Braden. They’d dig in the long jump pit, letting the sand run through their stubby fingers, or bounce on the high jump mat.

Outside Interests:

Completed junior year at Akron University in Ohio… Enjoys playing volleyball and soccer and hanging out with friends.

Odds and Ends

Shawnacy holds dual citizenship and while has never lived permanently in Canada, he chose to wear Canada’s colours to follow in the footsteps of his dad.