Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin still a ‘presence’ among Australia’s Olympic snowboarding team following his death

Pullin, a two-time world champion snowboarder who competed at three Winter Olympics, died while spearfishing in Australia in 2020 aged 32. He was also the country’s flag bearer at the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia.

Ahead of Beijing 2022, Australia’s snowboarding team has paid tribute to Pullin, saying he is “absolutely a presence amongst the team still.”

“He obviously meant a lot to a whole lot of people and to the winter community in Australia as a whole,” Bolton told reporters on Thursday.

“I was thinking about it this morning and I think that this team that we have here in Beijing for 2022 is still so heavily affected by Chumpy, but in a positive way.”

Bolton speaks to the press ahead of the Beijing Winter Olympics, which begin on February 4.

The 31-year-old Bolton represented Australia alongside Pullin at the 2014 and 2018 Winter Olympics.

He will compete in snowboard cross in Beijing having claimed a World Cup bronze medal in Cortina d’Ampezzo, Italy, last week — the fourth medal of his career.

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“Everyone has had so much positive interaction with Chumpy, so much advice, so much knowledge shared,” Bolton added.

“A lot of what Chumpy stood for and what Chumpy was about — and some of those lessons he was able to pass on to other athletes — will be very much alive here in 2022 in Beijing and I think it will be helping the team.

“I think he’s still a large part of everything that this team has and this team is striving towards and hoping to achieve.”

The Beijing Winter Olympics get underway on Friday with snowboard cross events beginning on Wednesday next week.

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