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Former Cal Poly Swimmer Barr Becomes First Mustang to Win ESPY

Former Cal Poly Swimmer Barr Becomes First Mustang to Win ESPY

SAN LUIS OBISPO, Calif. — For the first time in history, Cal Poly was represented at this year's ESPYs earlier this month as former Cal Poly swimmer Mark Barr became the first Cal Poly athlete (current or former) to win an ESPY award.

Barr took home the ESPY for best male athlete with a disability during the award show held on July 10 in Los Angeles.

The ESPYs are ESPN's annual award show that celebrates all that happened in the year of sports.

Barr, who swam at Cal Poly from 2004-08, lost his right leg to bone cancer when he was 14. He is currently a Paralympian who went undefeated in 2018, winning his first world title at the ITU Paratriathlon World Championships in the men's PTS2 division, held on Australia's Gold Coast. He also earned the USA Triathlon's 2018 Elite Paratriathlete of the Year honor.

He has competed in several Paralympic games, including the 2004 (Athens), 2008 (Beijing), and 2016 (Rio de Janeiro) games. In addition, he is also a registered nurse in the trauma surgical ICU where he works 12-hour shifts three days a week.

During his time as a swimmer at Cal Poly, Barr set three American Paralympic records, in the 50 fly, 100 fly, and 200 butterfly.

Photo courtesy of U.S. Paralympics