World champion and Olympic pole vaulter
Shawn Barber on Monday announced in a Facebook post that he is “gay
“Gay and proud!” Barber wrote.
“Thank you to my parents for being such a great support. I continue
to grow as a person and have a great support group. My parents are my
greatest support and have helped me through a lot recently. To my
friends, you are always my friends and i love you too!”
Barber, 22, is the current reigning
world champion in pole vaulting, a title he earned at the 2015 World
Championships in Athletics in Beijing, China with a stunning 5.90
meters jump. He is among the 21 athletes in the “six meters club,”
which consists of pole vaulters who have reached at least 6 meters.
He finished 10th at last year's Rio Summer Olympics.
Born in Canada, Barber holds U.S. and
Canadian citizenship. He graduated from high school in Houston and
attended the University of Akron in Ohio.
Barber's announcement makes him “one of the highest-profile and
most successful current openly gay athletes in the world.”
Besides his 3AM
Facebook post, Barber has not made any additional comments on
social media or to the media about his sexuality.