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Chatting with Shawn Barber: World Champion Canadian pole vaulter (Includes interview)

In 2015, Barber won the gold medal at the World Championships in Beijing, China, with a clearance of 5.90 meters. “That was great,” he said. “It was an accomplishment, and I’m very proud to represent my country, and the people I love.”

On representing Canada, he added, “I do feel a great sense of pride for Canada, and I love putting on a show for everybody.”

Each day, Barber is motivated by his drive to be the best at what he does. Last year, Barber was able to successfully jump over six meters in Reno, where he joined an elite group of male pole vaulters (21 athletes at the time) to accomplish this challenging feature. “It was wonderful. It was a great accomplishment, and a great feeling to be there with everybody,” he said.

Most recently, he participated in the Prefontaine Classic at the IAAF Diamond League meet in Oregon. “I enjoyed myself in Oregon. I had some good jumps, but I think I can do much better in the future,” he said.

Barber shared his excitement about the upcoming World Championships in London in August. “I am excited. I think I have the opportunity to put on a great show, and hopefully, jump very high,” he said. “It’s anybody’s game, and anybody’s time to shine.”

He is drawn to pole vaulting due to its unity and the adrenaline rush that comes with it. “Everybody comes together with the single mind of jumping high, and you hope to be the very best at it,” he said. “Everybody wants to be the best, and it just depends on who puts the time and effort into it, and who comes out on top at the end of the day. It’s a very pure sport and it’s very easy to measure. It takes a little bit of craziness sometimes to do it, and not everybody can handle it.”

For aspiring pole vaulters, Barber recommended they “stick with it.” “Hang in there, and listen to your coaches. Listen to the coaches since they usually have the best advice for you. Most young athletes have a lot to aspire to in the pole vault. There is a lot to improve on in the pole vault, and we can raise the bar much higher,” he said.

Barber had nothing but the nicest words about American pole vaulter and Olympic bronze medalist Sam Kendricks. “Sam has been one of my best friends for quite a long time now. He has been a great support to me. Sam Kendricks is one of those people I can always rely on. It has been a great pleasure to travel with him over the past couple of years,” Barber said.

The acclaimed pole vaulter shared his definition of the word success. “Success is being the very best at whatever I put my mind to,” he said.

To learn more about Canadian pole vaulter Shawn Barber, follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Markos Papadatos
Written By

Markos Papadatos is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for Music News. Papadatos is a Greek-American journalist and educator that has authored over 21,000 original articles over the past 18 years. He has interviewed some of the biggest names in music, entertainment, lifestyle, magic, and sports. He is a 16-time "Best of Long Island" winner, where for three consecutive years (2020, 2021, and 2022), he was honored as the "Best Long Island Personality" in Arts & Entertainment, an honor that has gone to Billy Joel six times.

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