The Australian sporting community has suffered a tragic loss as two-time World Champion and Olympic snowboarder Alex Pullin lost his life in a spearfishing accident at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia on Wednesday, July 8.
According to police officials, the 32 year old was pulled unresponsive from the water at approximately 10:40 A.M. where lifeguards performed CPR and paramedics continued with attempts to revive him.
"Another diver was out there and located him on the sea floor and raised the attention of nearby surfers who sought lifeguards to bring him in," police said in an Associated Press report. "He didn't have an oxygen mask. We understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef."
A two-time member of the Australian Olympic Snowboard team, he was the country's flag bearer at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics. He also won snowboard cross gold medals at the 2011 La Molina and 2013 Stoneham World Championships.
Well loved amongst Australia's snowboard and surf communities, his friends knew him simply by his nickname, Chumpy. A number of notable surfers have reached out on social media with heartbroken messages of condolence, including World Champion Mick Fanning, Sally Fitzgibbons and Paul Fisher, who was with Pullin the evening before the accident.
"I'm so glad Chloe and I got to give you a big hug last night and say we love ya," wrote Fisher on Instagram. "Mate you were an absolute gem of a human full of energy love and passion for everything you did, you couldn't meet a nicer more caring person if ya tried. I would always go home and feel so much more positive about the world after hanging with ya and I loved that about you!!! You were just an amazing human mate, not one bad bone in your body always smiling and ready for the next adventure!!!"
"Our deepest condolences are with Alex's family, as well as his teammates and support staff," said Snow Australia in a statement. "Alex was a beloved member of the Snow Australia community and he will be dearly missed."