It is with immeasurable disappointment and heartbreak that I inform you of the death of my courageous and valiant father, Barry John King.
Barry was a British Olympic Decathlete and businessman, author, coach, corporate director, corporate board member and specialist in Olympic marketing and sports development.
Born in Stoke-on-Trent, England, Barry spent his primary educational years in the town of Iver, just west of London. He then moved to America to attend the University of Colorado at Boulder on an athletic track and field scholarship, where he studied Physics, Philosophy and The History of Science. Barry then lived in Santa Barbara, California to train in the Club West Track Club before going on to represent Great Britain at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, Germany. Athletic great, Barry, held several national records and won national championships in the decathlon, discus and pentathlon, as well as gaining bronze and silver medals in the decathlon at the Commonwealth Games in 1970 (Edinburgh, Scotland) and 1974 (Christchurch, New Zealand).
Working abroad, Barry succeeded in developing Olympic teams in both Saudi Arabia and Kuwait as well as international athletic programs in South America and Asia. Previous to this, Barry was Associate Dean of Students at the University of California, San Diego.
In 1977 he helped found Sports Directions, a sports marketing company, which produced Olympic sports development programs for multi-national corporations in South and Central America, the Middle East and Asia. In the U.S. he developed programs for numerous corporate clients including Coca-Cola and Visa, the U.S. Department of Labor and the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee.
Barry joined the U.S. Olympic Committee in 1987 and became Director of Marketing Communications. In his 14 years of service, Barry helped secure funding for nine U.S. Olympic Teams and the financing of the Olympic Games in 1996 (Atlanta, Georgia) and 2002 (Salt Lake City, Utah). USOC direct revenue exceeded $1.3 billion during his tenure.
In 2001, he left the USOC to found Outdoor-Fitness, Inc. in collaboration with his daughter Andrea (Annie), with the purpose to further develop outdoor exercise and fitness opportunities for people of all ages and physical ability levels. Barry also sat on the board of directors for the BioCeutical company, Imagenetix, a company focused on both natural-based and patent-protected compounds sold as nutritional and pharmaceutical products.
Barry is co-author of a two-book series, published in association with the United States Olympic Committee, entitled The Olympic Challenge as well as Journey of the Olympic Flame. Barry assisted in creating an Olympic-themed Iowa state school educational curriculum for K-12 students, again, in conjunction with the United States Olympic Committee. Alongside the accomplishments, in film, he was proudly the technical director of the Walt Disney motion picture, The World's Greatest Athlete.
Barry was a champion among champions, a loyal friend and the best father anyone could ask for. He set the foundation for what true success and leadership means. We are all lucky to have had the opportunity to learn from him and carry those traits forward in the years to come. He is an amazing person who we are so lucky to have had in this world. Kind, steadfast and true - selfless, intelligent, decent and humble. He poured intense passion into each and every single thing he chose to do in his unique and prototypical way. He believed both in the goodness and the greatness of others. He was an eternal optimist who's pure vitality and energy radiated to all those around him. He prided himself on the belief that all humankind is created equal, and through knowledge, education and understanding we may all work toward the goal of peace and unity. His enthusiasm and advocacy of the Olympic Peace Movement, being a firm believer in peace through sports participation, is a lesson that will allow his legacy to live on.
Barry was a great lover of the sciences, arts, history and the written word. A true intellect, philosopher and adventurer explorer at heart, he would never miss an opportunity to conquer a mountain, swim a dangerous sea, run up a remote sand dune or explore untouched wilderness. He had the stars and constellations among the night heavens memorized, having learned them as a young boy, and could quote almost any historian, philosopher or author at will. As his wife, Deanna, would say, "happiness to him is bumping down a dirt road to nowhere" - surely in an attempt to understand something new or undiscovered.
Gentle, sweet, reserved and kind but also somehow equally bold, brave and courageous. Barry was the quintessential renaissance man and both perfect and remarkable English gentleman. His mental and physical strength were unparalleled - his work ethic, unmatched. He had a great, long-lasting and deep fondness, respect and appreciation for all of his friends, co-workers and fellow athletic competitors.
Barry celebrated his 50th wedding anniversary to his lifelong love, Deanna, in June of 2020 - who preceded him in death by only 8 months. He is survived by his loving daughter, business partner and best friend, Andrea (Annie), brother Michael and family.
It is with enduring grief and unwavering pride as a daughter, that we mark the passing of such a tremendous man.
Please join us for Barry's internment and eulogies held at St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Leadville, Colorado on Saturday, April 10th at 1pm.
A celebration of life memorial and reception for all those he graciously impacted will be held in late spring at The United States Olympic and Paralympic Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado at time and date to be determined.
All are welcome.
For those planning an expression of sympathy or goodwill, memorials may be made in donation to the Olympic Refuge Foundation https://www.olympicrefugefoundation.org/
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