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Jakara Anthony wins Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin Outstanding Achievement Award

May 06, 2024·Freestyle
© Andrey Kulagin / KSA
© Andrey Kulagin / KSA

Jakara Anthony walked away from the 2024 Snow Australia Awards in Melbourne as one of the night’s big winners, however few accolades come bigger than the Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin Outstanding Achievement Award.

Taking on additional significance since 2021 when it was named after Australia’s two-time Snowboard Cross World Champion, the Outstanding Achievement Award is one which has been cherished by previous recipients Danielle Scott, Tess Coady, Scotty James and Valentino Guseli.

Delivering a record-breaking season of 14 World Cup wins, Anthony’s achievements over the course of her 2023/24 campaign made her a worthy recipient of the Award. She hopes to be able to take some of the qualities she saw in Pullin and pass them on to others within the sport.

“I was really lucky to grow up at Mt Buller, so getting to see Chumpy from a pretty young age and then eventually got to go to an Olympics with him in 2018,” said Anthony. “Such an inspiration and [he brought] so much passion to it.

“I think that I’m trying to do the same in our sport [moguls]. I’m trying to go out there and do my best and put down the best runs that I can so I can hopefully go out and inspire people from all walks of life - our younger athletes in the system, my fellow teammates, literally anyone out there who’s getting to watch a little bit of what we do - and hopefully I can make an impact to those people in some way.”

While her near-perfect season may look easy on paper, Anthony says the length of the campaign required careful planning and meticulous execution.

“It was the longest season I’ve ever competed in with 16 starts,” she said. “We were in it for the long haul starting back at the start of December, competing through to mid-March; it was really about taking it literally one run at a time and trying to not get too far ahead of ourselves.

“If I had of been thinking toward that last event in Italy way back at the start of the season in Ruka I think I would have crumbled under the pressure pretty early.”

Ski cross athlete Anton Grimus was a teammate of Pullin’s on the 2014 and 2018 Olympic Winter Games teams, and had the honour of presenting Anthony with the Award.

Grimus spoke of Pullin’s endless generosity, saying he was someone who helped athletes of all ages believe they could do anything.

“Chumpy’s persistent positivity and the ability to inspire people to get to their best was a true gift,” said Grimus. “He gave any grom the confidence to believe they were a shoe-in to be Australia’s next World Champion.

“He even had me convinced that if I did switch over to Snowboard Cross then Cam Bolton would only be competing against my shadow!”

“Chumpy’s passion today lives on through his family and the Chumpy Pullin Foundation which is doing some amazing things for the next generation of winter sport athletes.”

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