Olympic Training Centre athlete lodge at Mt Buller named Chumpy’s Lodge

Chumpy's parents Sally and Chris Pullin with partner Ellidy Vlug. Photo credit: Mt Buller/Jordan Mountain

Australia’s winter sport community came together today to honour the late and great three-time Winter Olympian Alex “Chumpy” Pullin who died almost a year ago.

The athlete accommodation at the Olympic Training Centre at Mt Buller was officially named “Chumpy’s Lodge” in his honour in front of select Australian elite athletes and officials.

Chumpy’s parents Sally and Chris Pullin together with partner Ellidy Vlug were also present  this afternoon for the dedication in honour of the snowboard pioneer, Olympic Team flagbearer and two-time world champion.

Chief Executive Officer of the Olympic Winter Institute of Australia (OWIA) Geoff Lipshut says it’s important that athletes know Chumpy’s story and the contribution he made to snowsports in Australia.

“As we approach the first anniversary of Chumpy’s tragic passing, this is a fitting recognition” said Lipshut.

“All athletes now staying at athlete accommodation at Mt Buller will learn of his story via the memorabilia here and preserve his memory through the reference to Chumpy’s Lodge as a part of each training camp.

“Chumpy genuinely believed that anything was possible, which is why he was so important to the athletes of his generation, and through Chumpy’s Lodge, generations to come.”

Cam Bolton and Ellidy Vlug in Chumpy’s Lodge. Photo credit: Jordan Mountain/Mt Buller

Chumpy Pullin was born in the Mt Buller area, his parents owned a Ski and Snowboard shop in the sub-alpine town of Mansfield. He learnt to snowboard at Mt Buller at eight years of age and went on to be the first Australian winter sports person to win two World Championships in 2011 and 2013.

Chumpy was also a triple Olympian 2010, 2014 and 2018 where he placed sixth in the Olympic final. Chumpy is the most successful skier or snowboarder to grow up in the Mt Buller area.

Australian Olympic Committee (AOC) Vice President and past Chef de Mission of the Winter Team at Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014) and PyeongChang (2018) Ian Chesterman says Chumpy Pullin’s passion left an indelible mark on winter sport in Australia.

“Chumpy was a natural leader, which is why he carried the flag for Australia at the Opening Ceremony of the Olympic Games in Sochi 2014,” said Chesterman.

“He was passionate about building winter sport in this country, which is why this OWIA initiative is so important. We were desperately sad to lose him but his legacy will live on. Everyone who passes through the doors of Chumpy’s Lodge will understand that history.”

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.