Portugal Colonial - Tragic team-mate inspires Australian snowboarders at Beijing Olympics

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Tragic team-mate inspires Australian snowboarders at Beijing Olympics
Tragic team-mate inspires Australian snowboarders at Beijing Olympics

Tragic team-mate inspires Australian snowboarders at Beijing Olympics

Australia's Olympic snowboard team vowed Thursday to go for gold at the Beijing Games in honour of two-time world champion Alex "Chumpy" Pullin, who died spearfishing aged 32.

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Pullin, the Australian team flag bearer at the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics, was found unresponsive on the ocean floor off the Australian coast in 2020.

Cameron Bolton, a member of Australia's snowboard cross team, said Pullin's memory lives on with them at the Beijing Games, which begin Friday.

"I think Chumpy's absolutely still a presence amongst the team," Bolton said in Zhangjiakou, northwest of Beijing, where Olympic snowboarding events are set to take place.

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

Pullin twice won world championship gold in snowboard cross and took part in three Winter Olympics, with sixth at the 2018 Pyeongchang Games his best result.

Bolton and Pullin were team-mates at the 2014 and 2018 Olympics.

"I've had so much positive interaction with Chumpy, so much advice, so much knowledge shared," said Bolton.

"I think a lot of what Chumpy stood for and some of those lessons he was able to pass on to other athletes will be very much alive here in 2022 in Beijing.

"I think it will be helping the team and I think he's still a large part of everything this team is striving towards and hoping to achieve," he added.

A.P.Maia--PC