The Australian Olympian Alex “Chumpy” Pullin has drowned on the Gold Coast.
Police said a 32-year-old spearfisher had died after being pulled from the surf at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.
He was dragged unconscious from the water about 10.40am on Wednesday, police said.
Lifeguards performed CPR but the man was pronounced dead just before 11.15am. A report will be prepared for the coroner.
Pullin, a two-time world snowboarding champion, was the Australian flag-bearer at the 2014 Sochi winter Olympics.
Olympic champion Steven Bradbury said Pullin would be badly missed.
“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,” Bradbury told news website InQueensland.
“He was bound to be a positive influence on winter sports into the future and will be sorely missed.”
In an interview with Guardian Australia before the Sochi Games, Pullin talked of his passion for surfing and mountain-biking, and his love of summer, despite being a winter athlete. Reports said he was also a keen and experienced spearfisher.
Friends, sporting stars and journalists who knew Pullin paid tribute on social media to his generous nature as well as his sporting achievements.
RIP Alex Pullin, Australian Olympic flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics. “Chumpy” was an all-round outdoorsman and world champion snowboard cross athlete. He had a lovely open personality and lived life to the max in all ways. Tragic tragic loss
— Anthony Sharwood ❄️ (@antsharwood) July 8, 2020
I am so sad to hear of the death of Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin. One of the most talented Oz winter sports athletes but more importantly, a thoughtful and generous person. It was such a pleasure to know him. Thoughts with his family and loved ones. @SnowAust @OWI_AUS
— Katherine Firkin (@KatherineFirkin) July 8, 2020
Can’t believe Chumpy Pullin dead at just 32. What a loss. So many enjoyable hours watching him compete for Australia and always with a smile on his face.
— Ray C (@SunnyC51) July 8, 2020
Heart breaking for Chumpy Pullin and his family. The kindest bloke, a true sportsman and leader, who lived life to the fullest and had time for everyone, even complete rando journalists like me. :'( What a tragedy. Thoughts and prayers with the Pullins. 💔
— Kate Allman (@KateAllman_) July 8, 2020
More to come