3-Time Olympian and World Champion Snowboarder Alex Pullin Dies in Spearfishing Accident

Alex Pullin was found unconscious on the sea floor without an oxygen mask, according to Gold Coast police

Alex Pullin
Alex Pullin. Photo: Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

Australian snowboarder Alex Pullin — nicknamed "Chumpy" — has passed away at the age of 32.

The three-time Olympian died on Wednesday while spearfishing off the Gold Coast in his native Australia, according to a statement from Snow Australia, the country's competitive ski and snowboarding organization.

"Our deepest condolences are with Alex’s family, as well as his team mates and support staff," the statement read. "Alex was a beloved member of the Snow Australia community and he will be dearly missed."

Pullin was found unconscious on the sea floor by another diver, Gold Coast Police District Duty Officer Chris Tritton told Australia's 9 News.

"He didn't have an oxygen mask, we understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef," Tritton said. "It appears he was diving alone. There were other divers out there, but he was not with a friend."

Alex Pullin
Alex Pullin. Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

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Pullin was still unconscious when he was brought to shore, where off-duty nurses, lifeguards and paramedics performed CPR for 45 minutes, but could not resuscitate him, 9 News reported.

The two-time world champion snowboarder was an experienced diver who had frequented Palm Beach prior to his death, according to the outlet.

Late last month, Pullin shared a photo of himself spearfishing on Instagram, captioning the shot: "Unreal day in the ocean! Whales singing & breaching all around us, hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week."

On June 24, he posted a video of himself swimming underwater in the ocean.

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Pullin was the flag bearer for Australia's Olympic team during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. In addition to competing that year, he participated in the snowboard cross event at the 2010 and 2018 Winter Olympics.

Geoff Lipshut, the chief executive of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia, told Reuters that Pullin had retired from the sport last month, but did not officially announce it.

"Three-time Olympian, Australian Flagbearer at Sochi 2014 and two-time World Champion. An incredible athlete, beloved teammate and role model, you will be sorely missed. Rest In Peace," the Australian Olympic team wrote in a tribute on Twitter.

"Chumpy was a huge part of the Australian Winter team and will be sorely missed," Pullin's former Olympics teammate Jarry Hughes tweeted. "It was an honour to be teammates and have raced alongside you. Sending my condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. RIP."

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