FIS was deeply shocked and saddened to learn about the passing of Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, who lost his life while spearfishing on the Gold Coast (AUS) on Wednesday morning.
Pullin made his World Cup debut in the Furano (JPN) in February 2007. Twelve months later he established himself as one of the most promising athletes winning his first World Cup medal in Gujo-Gifu (JPN). Making his Olympic debut at the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games, ”Chumpy” placed 17th and less than a month later won his first World Cup in Valmelenco (ITA) and came second a week later in La Molina (ESP).
The medals kept coming in late 2010, firmly ranking Pullin as a top competitor. In January 2011 he won his first FIS Snowboard World Championship gold medal in La Molina (ESP) and topped of the season with the highly coveted FIS World Cup SBX overall crystal globe.
In 2012/2013, Pullin created history, becoming the first Australian winter sports athlete to defend a World Championship title at the FIS Snowboard World Championships 2013 in Stoneham (CAN). Chumpy also won his second World Cup overall title after claiming four World Cup podium spots, which included two victories. In 2013, Pullin was awarded Athlete of the Year by Ski & Snowboard Australia.
Pullin was a three-time Olympian, who participated in the Vancouver 2010 (CAN), Sochi 2014 (RUS) - where he also was the Olympic flag-bearer at the opening ceremony - and PyeongChang 2018 (KOR) Olympic Winter Games with the latter being his best result, as he made the big final, finishing in 6th place.
The Australian Olympic Team’s Chef de Mission at all three Games, Ian Chesterman, described Alex Pullin as a natural leader: “This is an incredibly sad day for us all. Chumpy was a champion bloke as well as being a champion athlete. He had great charisma that allowed him to be a natural leader.”
“He was always prepared to give his time to build winter sport in this country because he was so passionate about what he did. His enthusiasm was infectious and his impact on Olympic sport can’t be overstated. Chumpy will be greatly missed, not just within our winter sports family but by the so many people he impacted on both here and overseas. This is a desperately sad time for his family, his friends, teammates and all in winter sports. We are all devastated, and our heartfelt sympathies go to his loved ones.”
“Chumpy was a leader, a great champion and will be missed by all of the winter sports community both in Australia and around the World. It is very sad,” Geoff Lipshut, Chief Executive Officer of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) added.
FIS would like to extend the deepest condolences to Alex Pullin’s family, friends and teammates, as well as to Snow Australia and the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA).