Alex Pullin, a two-time champion and winter Olympian, has died at the age of 32. Authorities said that he drowned while spearfishing on Australia's Gold Coast. EMTs attempted CPR and emergency procedures on the unresponsive Pullin for 45 minutes.
According to WKRN, the incident occurred around 10:40 a.m. local time at Palm Beach. "Paramedics were called to a post-immersion incident off Nineteenth Avenue at Palm Beach just after 10.30am," Queensland Ambulance Service said in a statement Wednesday, per CNN. "One patient was treated at the scene." Another diver found him, unconscious without an air mask. Gold Coast Police District Duty Officer Chris Tritton told reporters that Pullin "appeared to be diving alone" at the time.
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Pullin had previously posted photos showing his time in the ocean, as well as him spearing a fish. According to 9 News, Pullin frequently dove at the popular swimming spot. Additionally, he had gone spearfishing at an artificial reef located 270 meters from the shore.
"Unreal day in the ocean!" Pullin wrote in a June 26 Instagram post. "Whales singing & breaching all around us, hanging with great people, plus bringing home plenty of fish for the week. Huge thanks to @nicholaspearce for taking us out!"
Snow Australia, the country's organization for competitive skiing and snowboarding, released a statement on Wednesday. It said that Pullin was a beloved member of the community and that "he will be missed." The organization joined several members of the snowboarding community mourning Pullin on Wednesday.
"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," the statement read in part. "Our deepest condolences are with Alex’s family, as well as his team mates and support staff." Olympic teammate Jarry Hughes posted a tribute on Twitter saying that Pullin was a huge part of the Australian Winter team.
Pullin was Australia's flag bearer during the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. He competed at the Olympics a total of three times in his career, including the 2010 and 2018 Winter Olympics. Pullin also secured the gold medal twice at the FIS Snowboarding World Championships (2011, 2013) and a bronze medal once (2017). Along with his Olympic career, Pullin competed at the Winter X Games and won the silver medal during 2016's snowboard cross event.