Olympic Snowboarder Alex Pullin Dead at 32 After Spearfishing Accident

Champion snowboarder Alex Pullin passed away in a spearfishing accident that took place off the Gold Coast in his native Australia.

By McKenna Aiello Jul 09, 2020 12:49 AMTags
Alex Pullin Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Olympic snowboarder and two-time world champion Alex "Chumpy" Pullin has died at the age of 32. 

Pullin passed away on Tuesday, July 7 in a spearfishing accident that took place in his native Australia. 

Snow Australia confirmed the tragic news in a statement, which read, "The Snow Australia community is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of triple Olympian, Alex Pullin, who today lost his life while spearfishing on the Gold Coast this morning. Our deepest condolences are with Alex's family, as well as his team mates and support staff."

Local authorities told Australia's 7 News that another diver located Pullin unconscious on the sea floor and called out to nearby lifeguards for help. First responders performed CPR on the athlete for 45 minutes before he was declared dead on the scene.

Pullin is said to have been free diving and spearfishing without a breathing apparatus. Authorities are still investigating Pullin's cause of death. 

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Pullin competed for Australia at the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Team AUS paid tribute in a heartfelt statement, which read, "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."

Jarryd Hughes, who competed alongside Pullin at the 2018 Games, tweeted, "Extremely shocked and saddened to hear the news of Chumpy's passing. Chumpy was a huge part of the Australian Winter team and will be sorely missed. It was an honour to be teammates and have raced alongside you."

Recent photos shared to Pullin's Instagram showed him spearfishing and diving.

"Unreal day in the ocean!" he captioned on photo from late June. "Whales singing & breaching all around us, hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week."

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Plans for Pullin's memorial have not publicly been announced.