World pole vaulting champion Shawn Barber is gay

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The 22-year-old Canadian track and field athlete comes out as gay with a strong and motivating Facebook post. “Gay and proud! 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!” the athlete wrote. The news was welcomed by his friends, colleagues and especially fans. One said: “Be proud and being yourself is Important. You are a role model to the athletes of tomorrow.” Another added: “Proud of you Shawn. The world is getting closer to the day when we accept everyone by how they conduct themselves, not by their sexual orientation or religious beliefs, etc.” Barber currently holds the world title after topping the table at the 2015 World Championships in Athletics in Beijing. At the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Barber placed tenth “in wet and windy conditions”. Three out Olympians represented Canada at the 2016 Games – footballers Melissa Tancredi, Stephanie Labbe and Marie-Eve Nault.

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