Alex Pullin dead at 32: Tributes paid to Australian Winter Olympics snowboard star killed while spear fishing at sea

AUSTRALIAN Winter Olympics star Alex “Chumpy” Pullin has died aged 32 after a tragic accident while spear fishing.

The two-time world champion snowboarder passed away earlier today off Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.

The Courier Mail report the hugely-popular sports star suffered a shallow water blackout shortly after 10.30am local time.

A shallow water blackout occurs when a person suffers from a loss of oxygen and “faints” underwater.

Pullin was found unresponsive on the ocean floor by another spear fisherman after they had alerted a nearby surfer.

Fellow surfers then helped to carry the body off an artificial reef before calling lifeguards.

The incident is reported to have occurred in front of Pullin's family, who were also present on the beach.

He recently shared a video on his Instagram with his long-time partner, model Ellidy Vlug.

Pullin had credited his family with his snowsports success and revealed his parents taught him to ski at the age of three.

The Mansfield, Victoria-born athlete was a seasoned free diver and regularly went spear fishing, even sharing an underwater photo of himself in action a fortnight ago.

Pullin represented Australia at three Winter Olympics and was the team's flag-bearer at the Sochi Games in Russia in 2014.

He was a multiple world champion and was Australia's flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

The Australian Olympic Committee will issue a statement later on Wednesday.

Olympic champion Steven Bradbury says “everyone’s best mate” Pullin will be sorely missed.

He said: “The world will miss such a talented human and a double world champion without ego and without selfishness who is everyone's best mate – which isn't always the case with elite athletes.

“He was bound to be a positive influence on winter sports into the future and will be sorely missed.”

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