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Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin was living ‘perfect life’ on Gold Coast with partner Ellidy Vlug

The heartbroken girlfriend of snowboarding champion Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin broke her silence to reveal the couple were planning for their future before tragedy struck.

Ellidy Vlug and the Olympic athlete recently purchased their ‘forever home’ on the Gold Coast, and were ‘living out their dreams surrounded by their closest friends and family’. 

But on Wednesday as the two-time World Championship was spear fishing he suffered a shallow water blackout and drowned. 

Ellidy last saw her boyfriend alive moments before he’d decided to go for a dive, telling him: ‘Love you, watch out for sharks’. 

The couple purchased their dream home in 2018 and had spent the last two years renovating it to prepare for raising a family

Pictured together on a beach with their dog

Pictured cuddling while Pullin held Ms Vlug

Pullin previously said Ms Vlug’s chilled nature and laidback qualities made the relationship easier than he thought it could be, given some of his colleagues had warned him of the difficulties associated with long distance relationship

Just two weeks ago, Ms Vlug shared a sun-drenched video of Pullin and Rummi cuddling in bed

Just two weeks ago, Ms Vlug shared a sun-drenched video of Pullin and Rummi cuddling in bed

The couple shared a Kelpie puppy named Rummi (pictured together)

The couple shared a Kelpie puppy named Rummi (pictured together)

Ms Vlug had gone for a walk at the time, she returned home to find a neighbour at her door, who told her the body of a spear fisher had been pulled from the ocean.

She raced to the beach with her mother where she was told the body belonged to her partner of eight years. 

Ms Vlug told of how her 32-year-old partner was obsessed with learning new skills. 

He was ‘a jack of all trades.’ In the winter he snowboarded, in the summer he surfed, and he spent the seasons in between learning new activities.

Over the years Pullin had mastered holding his breath for long periods of time, and regularly went spear fishing on his own or with mates.

Never once did it cross anybody’s minds that Pullin could run into danger. In fact, Ms Vlug’s biggest concern about the hobby was potentially bumping into a shark.

Mourners gathered on the beach with a small tribute to Pullin following his tragic death

Mourners gathered on the beach with a small tribute to Pullin following his tragic death

Local physiotherapist Scott Johnstone (pictured) met Alex Pullin a week ago and visited the beach on Thursday to pay his respects

Local physiotherapist Scott Johnstone (pictured) met Alex Pullin a week ago and visited the beach on Thursday to pay his respects

Mourners delivered flowers to the home Ms Vlug shared with Pullin on Thursday

Mourners delivered flowers to the home Ms Vlug shared with Pullin on Thursday

‘When he told me he’d decided to go for a dive, I was just like ”epic, love you, watch out for sharks”,’ Ms Vlug explained. ‘I always say that.’

It’s only been 24 hours since his death, and Ms Vlug said herself, their friends and families are still in shock.

‘I don’t know what I’m going to do without him,’ she said.

But the 28-year-old model and business owner is determined to make him proud.

The couple were parents to one-year-old Rummi, their beloved Kelpie puppy, and Ms Vlug said Pullin absolutely adored her.

‘He was a family man through and through. Me, and his sister and parents and Rummi were his world,’ she said.

Ms Vlug gushed about the tight knit relationship he shared with his parents and sister. They all live in New South Wales, so were physically separated during the COVID-19 lockdown, but remained impossibly close.

Champion snowboarder Alex Pullin was living a simple life on the Gold Coast with his model girlfriend before he tragically died in a freak accident on Wednesday

Champion snowboarder Alex Pullin was living a simple life on the Gold Coast with his model girlfriend before he tragically died in a freak accident on Wednesday

A boat and a couple of surfers are seen off the coast of Palm Beach on Thursday near where Pullin drowned

A boat and a couple of surfers are seen off the coast of Palm Beach on Thursday near where Pullin drowned

The couple are parents to their one-year-old Kelpie, Rummi, who even has her own Instagram page

The couple are parents to their one-year-old Kelpie, Rummi, who even has her own Instagram page

Ms Vlug on Thursday posted a note on the front door of the home, asking media to respect her privacy

Ms Vlug on Thursday posted a note on the front door of the home, asking media to respect her privacy

What is a shallow water blackout? 

A shallow water blackout is the loss of consciousness due to a lack of oxygen while underwater. Normally, the victim is holding their breath.

It can affect anyone – even exceptionally fit and healthy people – when they have held their breath for too long underwater. 

Miraculously, his parents were able to visit Queensland last week and spent a night at the home Pullin shared with Ms Vlug.

The two time World Championships gold medallist and three time Olympian found pleasure in the simple things, like sitting by a fire and lazy Sunday mornings in bed.

Just two weeks ago, Ms Vlug shared a sun-drenched video of Pullin and Rummi cuddling in bed.

The couple purchased their ‘dream home’ on the Gold Coast back in 2018, and had spent their days slowly tinkering away and turning it into their forever home.

‘This home is our happy place,’ Ms Vlug explained. ‘Our forever family home’.

‘We’ve always been happy, but we’ve just been the happiest people this past year’.

Ms Vlug on Thursday posted a note on the front door of the home, asking media to respect her privacy.

‘Thank you for your thoughts this is a very difficult time for me and I ask that you respect my privacy during this period of grief,’ she wrote.

‘Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived life to the full.

‘He lived for us – his family, our puppy Rummi, our amazing friends and the home we made together.

‘I am eternally grateful that I have lived my life with him and I am deeply saddened that his life has been cut short’.

While the couple enjoyed the simple things and relished in their quiet life on the Gold Coast, Pullin was always an adrenaline junkie at heart.

He’d started skiing at just three years old, before hanging up the boots and trading them in for a snowboard at eight.

He was desperate to compete – and desperate to be the best in his field.

Pullin pictured with his beloved Kelpie puppy, Rummi relaxing in bed

Pullin pictured with his beloved Kelpie puppy, Rummi relaxing in bed

Pictured: Pullin and Ms Vlug

Pullin had a passion for music and performing

World champion snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin (pictured with his girlfriend Ellidy Vlug) has drowned while spearfishing on the Gold Coast

Former Home and Away actor Lincoln Lewis (bottom), who was also close friends with Pullin (top), said the news had left him 'lost for words'

Former Home and Away actor Lincoln Lewis (bottom), who was also close friends with Pullin (top), said the news had left him ‘lost for words’

He began skiing at just three years old, encouraged by his parents who owned and ran a ski/snowboard shop in Mansfield, Victoria, where he was born.

Pullin spent every off season in the water, even more so after relocating to the Gold Coast with his partner.

‘I was so attracted to competing from a young age. My dad and I used to race to everything,’ he previously wrote on his personal website.

‘The nearest tree or racing home on our bikes. It became second nature to test myself that way.

‘Racing to me is such a pure form of competition, with no judging, its all down to who crosses the line first. An average speed of 70km/h and tops of 100km/h.

While he’d dreamt of competing as a snowboarder since he was just eight years old, surfing and being in the ocean was always his second passion. Pro surfer Kelly Slater has forever been one of his idols.

The couple met at a party for a mutual friend in 2012, but had known of each other for years prior

The couple met at a party for a mutual friend in 2012, but had known of each other for years prior

The couple began dating in 2012 after a chance encounter at a mutual friend's party

The couple lived a low key life on the Gold Coast and Pullin was pursuing his passion for music

The couple began dating in 2012 after a chance encounter at a mutual friend’s party

But he’d also always had a keen love of music, and Ms Vlug said he performed like a pro.

‘He obviously pursued snowboarding, which was amazing, but he was a jack of all trades… I can’t name a skill he couldn’t do. He would research and practice and be a pro at whatever he wanted to within a day.

‘He’s just so talented and I can’t believe he is no longer here’.

Pullin spent a lot of time playing around on his many instruments and performing for family and friends, and at events. Ms Vlug said ‘so many will miss his talents’. 

He would write and perform his own original songs and previously explained music had been a lifelong passion.

‘Music has been a big part of my life. From listening to my mum play guitar and sing when I was a kid to writing albums and playing at music festivals in Australia,’ he explained on his personal blog.

‘These days, I just love writing new music and playing all the instruments myself, to just challenge my skills and see what I can come up with’.

He would write and perform his own original songs and explained music had been a lifelong passion

He would write and perform his own original songs and explained music had been a lifelong passion

He would write and perform his own original songs and explained music had been a lifelong passion

Pictured: Australian Olympian Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin was comforted by his model girlfriend Ellidy Vlug after his event was cancelled at Sochi in 2014

Pictured: Australian Olympian Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin was comforted by his model girlfriend Ellidy Vlug after his event was cancelled at Sochi in 2014

They withstood years of a long distance relationship while Pullin was travelling internationally for work

They withstood years of a long distance relationship while Pullin was travelling internationally for work

The 32-year-old started dating Ms Vlug back in 2012, when she was 20 years old and he was 25.

They’d known each other for years prior through similar social circles on Sydney’s northern beaches, but it wasn’t until they were at their mutual friends 21st that they first hit it off. 

‘We just started talking and I called her out for a dance,’ Pullin explained during a 2016 interview with Buro.

‘[It was] heaps old school… Dragged her out on the dance floor’. But Ms Vlug later learned he’d tried to pursue her long before that first encounter. 

The couple were relishing having so much time at home together as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

He would write and perform his own original songs and explained music had been a lifelong passion

He would write and perform his own original songs and explained music had been a lifelong passion

Distraught mourners embrace on the sand of Palm Beach after laying a flower in Pullin's honour

Distraught mourners embrace on the sand of Palm Beach after laying a flower in Pullin’s honour

Mourners walk barefoot to the beach to lay flowers for the deceased snowboard champ

Mourners walk barefoot to the beach to lay flowers for the deceased snowboard champ

After years of making a long distance relationship work, they enjoyed waking up together every morning, going surfing and relaxing in the afternoons.

‘Everything just sort of clicked,’ Pullin previously explained of their relationship.

He said Ms Vlug’s chilled nature and laidback qualities made the relationship easier than he thought it could be, given some of his colleagues had warned him of the difficulties associated with long distance relationships.

‘We’re actually quite different. It’s fine. I love the simplicity of that, and not overthinking it. Today it’s fine, and we’ll see what tomorrow’s like. Nothing ever seems too hard. It’s what we want,’ he said.

Ms Vlug agreed, and said it made them value their time together more.

‘We can just go and do fun adventure stuff. It’s probably my favourite thing about us. If you didn’t have that, what would you do together?

The experienced spear fisher suffered what medics believe was a shallow water blackout just before 10.30am and could not be revived.

Pictured: Pullin with Rummi, the puppy he shared with his long term partner

Pictured: Pullin with Rummi, the puppy he shared with his long term partner

Australia's Alex Pullin (front) carries the national flag as he leads his team into the opening ceremony for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014

Australia’s Alex Pullin (front) carries the national flag as he leads his team into the opening ceremony for the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014

An on-duty lifeguard then came out on a jet-ski and hauled Pullin to the beach with the help of surfers

An on-duty lifeguard then came out on a jet-ski and hauled Pullin to the beach with the help of surfers

Gold Coast Police senior sergeant Chris Tritton said another spear fisherman saw Pullin unresponsive on the ocean floor and alerted a nearby surfer to get help from lifeguards.

The surfer paddled to shore to alert lifeguards, who then came out on a jet-ski and hauled Pullin to the beach with the help of surfers.

Paramedics performed CPR on him for about 45 minutes before officially declaring him dead.

‘He didn’t have an oxygen mask, we understand he was free diving and spearfishing out on the reef,’ sergeant Tritton said.

‘It appears he was diving alone. There were other divers out there but he was not with a friend.’

Police said officers were called to the beach just before 11am and crews remained on the scene well into Wednesday afternoon.

Pullin was Australia's flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the second time he represented his country at the highest level

Pullin was Australia’s flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics, the second time he represented his country at the highest level

Ms Vlug was waiting on the beach when Pullin's body was pulled to shore on Wednesday

Ms Vlug was waiting on the beach when Pullin’s body was pulled to shore on Wednesday

World champion snowboarder Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin (pictured with his girlfriend Ellidy Vlug) has drowned while spearfishing on the Gold Coast

World champion snowboarder Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin (pictured with his girlfriend Ellidy Vlug) has drowned while spearfishing on the Gold Coast

Just two weeks ago Pullin shared footage of himself diving and spear fishing in Gold Coast waters.

‘Unreal day in the ocean, whales singing & breaching around us,’ he wrote. ‘Hanging with great people plus bringing plenty of fish for the week.’

The champion snowboarder created history in 2012 when he became the first Australian winter sport athlete to defend a World Championship title.

He was awarded Athlete of the Year that season by Ski and Snowboard Australia following a successful campaign on the international circuit.

By the 2017/2018 season, he was still at his peak and won double gold at the World Cup in Argentina, only to become Australia’s best performing athlete yet again in 2019 when he placed ninth at the Snowboard Cross World Championships.

Pullin (left) was an experienced free diver and was fishing by himself when he drowned

Pullin (left) was an experienced free diver and was fishing by himself when he drowned

Pullin won gold medals at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and represented Australia at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, where he was the flag bearer

Pullin won gold medals at the 2011 and 2013 World Championships and represented Australia at the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, where he was the flag bearer

Mr Johnstone went for a quick swim before saying goodbye to Pullin at a makeshift memorial with flowers

Mr Johnstone went for a quick swim before saying goodbye to Pullin at a makeshift memorial with flowers

Two mourners arrived at Palm Beach on Thursday morning to pay tribute to Pullin

Two mourners arrived at Palm Beach on Thursday morning to pay tribute to Pullin

He most recently competed in a World Cup event in Sierra Nevada, Spain, before the coronavirus pandemic shut down international competition.

Australian sportsman Wendell Sailor led tributes to Pullin after word spread on Wednesday.

‘I can’t believe this terrible news – one of the nicest humans I’ve ever met – very sad news,’ Sailor wrote.

Former Home and Away actor Lincoln Lewis, who was also close friends with Pullin, said the news had left him ‘lost for words’.

‘One of those rare individuals who just lit up every room, never failed to continuously make everyone smile, laugh and just feel like their part of the family,’ he wrote alongside several photos of them together.

‘I wish I had the proper words to say, but what I do know is that I feel so incredibly lucky to have been able to call you a mate and even though you are gone way too soon, the world has been all the better and brighter for having you in it’.

The couple enjoyed spending lazy Sunday's in bed with their puppy, Rummi

The couple enjoyed spending lazy Sunday’s in bed with their puppy, Rummi

Divers on Palm Beach on Wednesday when Pullin drowned while spearfishing

Divers on Palm Beach on Wednesday when Pullin drowned while spearfishing

Mr Pullin is pictured spearfishing just a week before tragedy struck

Mr Pullin is pictured spearfishing just a week before tragedy struck 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk


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