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Australian Olympic snowboarder Alex Pullin, 32, dies in spearfishing accident

Alex "Chump" Pullin, a snowboarder who competed in three Olympics, died while spearfishing off the country's Gold Coast.
/ Source: TODAY

Alex Pullin, an Australian snowboarder who competed in the 2010, 2014 and 2018 Olympics, died Wednesday while spearfishing off Australia’s Gold Coast, according to Snow Australia, the country’s governing body for snowboarding and skiing. He was 32.

“The Snow Australia community is shocked and saddened by the sudden passing of triple Olympian, Alex Pullin, who today lost his life while spear fishing on the Gold Coast this morning,” Snow Australia wrote on Instagram Wednesday.

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

Pullin, who was nicknamed “Chumpy,” was unconscious when he was pulled from the water by lifeguards at around 11:00 a.m. local time after another diver spotted him on the sea floor, Australia’s 7News reported. He reportedly went to that beach often.

According to the channel, he had been spearfishing by himself without an oxygen mask. He was taken back to shore, where paramedics tried to suction water from his lungs and perform CPR. An autopsy was planned to determine the cause of death, the station reported.

Pullin served as the flag-bearer for Australia’s Olympic team at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia.

“What Chumpy will most be remembered for is being a good bloke,” Snow Australian CEO Michael Kennedy said in an Instagram video.

“His life was high performance in every aspect. He simply demanded excellence and it made everyone around him better for it.”

The Australian Olympic team also mourned his death.

"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 organization tweeted.

"Extremely shocked and saddened to hear the news of Chumpy’s passing." Jarryd Hughes, one of Pullin's teammates on the 2018 Olympics, tweeted. "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. Sending my condolences to his family, friends and loved ones. RIP."

Pullin appeared to enjoy his time in the water. On June 26, he shared photos of himself spearfishing.

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

A few days before, he shared a video of himself in the water.

"sound on - eavesdropping on some whale convos today was unreal!" he wrote.