Balian Buschbaum, born July 14, 1980 in Ulm, is a German pole vaulter, who used to be a woman named Yvonne Buschbaum and now a man after undergoing sex-change surgery.

Buschbaum’s personal best is 4.70 metres, achieved in June 2003 in Ulm. This ranks Buschbaum second among German pole vaulters, only behind Annika Becker.

On November 21, 2007 Buschbaum announced his retirement from the sport due to a persistent injury and the desire to begin gender reassignment.

In January 2008, Buschbaum announced that his new first name was “Balian”, after the blacksmith in the movie Kingdom of Heaven, and began gender reassignment surgery later that year. After the surgery, he said, “Courage is the road to freedom. I woke up in complete freedom today. The sky is wide open.”

In 2009, Buschbaum became a coach at the USC Mainz club in central Germany, where he teaches others how to pole vault.

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