Ellidy Pullin recalls moment she ‘knew’ Olympic snowboarder husband Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin was dead
The widow of champion snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin recalls the moment she “knew” he had died in a spearfishing accident in a new memoir.
Ellidy Pullin said she was returning home from walking the couple’s dog, Rummi, in the park on July 8, 2020, when she felt a sharp, stabbing pain in her chest.
Her husband was spearfishing in Palm Beach on the Gold Coast when Ellidy said she was experiencing the sudden chest pain.
“The sharpness held me back, knocked the wind out of me and nearly forced me to my knees,” she wrote in her upcoming memoir, Heartstrong.
‘I clenched my heart and Rummi looked up at me as if to say, ‘What the hell, Mom! Are you OK?’
‘After 30 seconds it was me. I brushed off the pain as fear—maybe I needed more sleep, or some vitamins or a massage—and kept walking.
“Looking back, I think that was the moment Chumpy left this earth—the moment my heart broke.”
Ellidy Pullin (left), wife of Olympic champion snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin (right), in a new memoir recalls walking home from a park with her dog Rummi when she experienced a sharp, stabbing pain in her chest. felt – the moment she thinks her husband died in a spearfisher accident
“Looking back, I think that was the moment Chumpy left this earth — the moment my heart broke,” Ellidy said of the sudden chest pain she experienced when her boyfriend was spearfishing off Palm Beach on the beach. Gold Coast
Ellidy Pullin said she will never forget the look on the face of a police officer on the beach the day he died when she confirmed to him the type of tattoo Chumpy Pullin had on his torso.
Pullin, 32, drowned that day. It is believed that he was spearfishing alone on an artificial reef on the beach when he was spotted on the ocean floor by a snorkeler.
He was a two-time Boardercross World Champion and represented Australia at three Winter Olympics.
The excerpt was published in the Courier-Mail’s Q-weekend magazine.
In January this year, Ellidy recalled hearing about the accident on Australian Women’s Weekly after a neighbor told her about “an incident on the beach.”
“At first I felt a bit of a shiver, but I thought, ‘It’s not Chumpy, it can’t be Chumpy,'” Ellidy recalled.
‘Then I said, ‘No, I have to go down.’ It just didn’t feel right to me.’
She remembered arriving at the beach and telling a police officer that her partner was diving.
She then confirmed to police that Pullin had inked a large ax on his ribs when they asked if her partner had a distinctive tattoo.
Ellidy said she will never forget the look on the policeman’s face.
“The feeling was that my heart was breaking before my brain knew it. He obviously held his breath for a second too long and blacked out… He passed out peacefully.”
In October 2021, 15 months after Alex’s death, Ellidy gave birth to their first child, Minnie Alex, conceived using sperm posthumously collected from the former Olympian.
In her memoir Heartstrong, Ellidy recalls meeting Pullin at a 21st birthday party on Sydney’s Northern Beaches, where the future Olympic star arrived in a denim jumpsuit that made him look like a real mechanic, but hot.
In October last year – 15 months after Alex’s death – Ellidy gave birth to their first child, Minnie Alex, conceived with sperm posthumously collected from the former Olympian.
Ellidy said she had to “rush” to get sperm from Pullin’s body after his death.
“I didn’t want Chump to just die and be gone. I felt this brought back a part of him,” she told AWW.
“We wanted a baby, and I couldn’t think of anything I wanted more than someone I could love and cherish.
“Now that she’s here, I just know it was meant to be. I see and feel so much of Chump in her. I know I did the right thing with all my heart.”
“Having Minnie is a constant reminder of her beautiful father in the best and most bittersweet way,” Ellidy told News Corp Australia.
“Life is so fragile, I have my days, but most of the time I’m so motivated to live a full life and be the best parent I can be…if not with Chump, then for him.”
In August, she shared footage of herself and her then 10-month-old daughter dancing offstage as her close friend and Minnie’s godfather, Australian musician DJ Paul Fisher, performed at a big party in Spain.
In the memoir, she recalls meeting Pullin at a 21st birthday party on Sydney’s northern beaches, where the future Olympic star arrived in jeans that made him look like a real mechanic, but hot.
‘He didn’t struggle or fight for air or choke with panic; he just closed his eyes and didn’t open them again,” Ellidy said, about the way she likes to think Chumpy Pullin left this life
The spark between the couple was immediate. In 2017 they moved to the Gold Coast and bought a house in Palm Beach.
On the day he died, Ellidy reveals, Chumpy had planned to go surfing but instead decided to pursue his newfound obsession, spearfishing.
She said she would warn him to watch out for sharks, but the snowboard champion told her that the real danger lay in shallow water power outages when a diver goes black at the end of a breath-hold dive.
Ellidy writes that she was not afraid of her partner because he was a professional athlete who she knew could hold his breath for a long time.
They shared one last hug as he backed out of the garage that morning to go to the beach.
Ellidy writes that she would warn Chumpy to keep an eye out for sharks while he was engaged in his newfound obsession with spearfishing, but that the snowboard champion told her that the real danger was power cuts in shallow water, when a diver goes black at the end of a swim. breath-hold dive
“Having Minnie is a constant reminder of her beautiful father in the best and most bittersweet way,” Ellidy said of their daughter
In August, she shared footage of herself and her then 10-month-old daughter dancing offstage while her close friend and Minnie’s godfather, Australian musician DJ Paul Fisher, performed at a big party in Spain.
After seeing the police officer’s reaction on the beach, she said she remembers thinking “These are bulls***” because the couple had a busy day planned and his disappearance was awkward.
But when she realized what had happened, she fell to the surf club floor, crying and shaking. Her mother and brother went to view the champion’s body after it was taken from the sea.
“Mama told me later—much later—that they both said goodbye to Chumpy in the back of the ambulance,” Ellidy said.
“Mom hugged him and kissed him and told him how much we all loved him.”
While Pullin’s death certificate lists his cause of death as drowning, his wife writes that she prefers he just sleep underwater.
‘He didn’t struggle or fight for air or choke with panic; he just closed his eyes and didn’t open them again.’
“I still find it quite surreal that Chump has been gone for two years now,” she told The Daily Telegraph in July.
“I really don’t know if I’ll ever fully understand how he was here one minute and gone the next.”