Snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin Mourned By Thousands

Foreword by NoFilter’s founder

I hadn’t met Chumpy in person, but just two weeks prior to his tragic passing, I had the pleasure of speaking to him on the phone for a good 30 minutes.

I learned about his upbringing at the foot of Mt Buller, and why he had decided to move on from competitive snowboarding and move to the Gold Coast - “to stop freezing my ass off”.

We spoke about him coming on board the NOFilter label to host his own show, all about the quest for the optimal human condition and experience, to paraphrase Chumpy.

Three things struck me during our conversation:

  1. Here was a man who was a two-time world champion, and by all accounts lived what for most people can only be a life to aspire to, but he was more humble than most people I’ve ever met.
  2. His lust for life, for learning and growth shone through the phone. He was keen to get on the tools and learn more about the art of podcasting.
  3. He was well spoken, articulate, and just...a good bloke...the complete package.

Since his passing, I’ve been awestruck by the number of people leaving their condolences on his social media accounts, and I’m reminded again that life isn’t so much about how many zeros you have in your bank account, but more so about what people will say about us after we’re gone. 

And it got me wondering what people might say about me? To be honest, I’m not sure, but having met Chumpy, I am inspired to not only live a better life myself, but to be a better person to others.

Here’s to Chumpy - even in death, he inspires us to new heights. 

Rest in peace mate. 

Steve Glaveski


Snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin Mourned By Thousands

Yesterday was a terrible day for cold-weather sports.

When lifeguards and ambulance officers got to Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin, it was already too late.

Fox 17 reports that the two-time world snowboard champion and Winter Olympian was found a snorkellor near an artificial reef on Queensland’s Gold Coast, where Pullin went spearfishing on Wednesday morning.

The elite athlete was pulled up and brought to land, but efforts to resuscitate the 32-year-old snowboarder went kaput even after almost an hour of continuous CPR. Soon, police had to start drafting a report for the coroner.

Ongoing Investigations

Chief Superintendent Mark Wheeler told ABC News that they’re not ruling out the possibility that the drowning incident may have been accompanied by punishable negligence.

He said authorities are now on a quest to find out “whether there are underlying medical conditions [or] whether there’s been a miscalculation by someone or something.”

“What we want to do is give closure to the family, give the family answers and also really importantly, to see whether there’s any systemic [reasons] to prevent this from happening again.”

Indeed, it is difficult to imagine Chumpy -- Australia’s snowboarding pride -- going out this way after spending his whole life being a shining example not only to budding winter sport athletes everywhere, but to people everywhere, on how to live a good life and be, as Ausralians say, a great bloke.

Embed from Getty Images

Heartfelt Letter from Grieving Girlfriend

There has been an outpour of tributes and fond remembrance for the fallen athlete on social media.

Even surfer Scott Johnstone, who met Chumpy in the Gold Coast just a week ago, could not help but get teary while remembering what it was like to get acquainted with the man.

Johnstone said the snowboarder proved it’s not always a bad idea to meet one’s heroes.

“To meet an Australian meet someone like that and for them to exceed what your expectation would be -- I think that’s the memory and the kind of lasting impact Chumpy would have on me.” 

However, not one person could have elucidated the depth of what the world has lost better than Pullin’s girlfriend.

Ellidy Vlug posted a note on the main door of their shared home, thanking everyone for remembering the love of his life.

“Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived it to the full,” read the note. “He lived for us -- his family, our puppy Rummi, our amazing friends and the home we made together.”

If it’s any consolation to Pullin fans who may be feeling a bit distraught at the moment, Vlug said the man lived long enough to see most, if not all, of his dreams come true.

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July 11, 2020




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