Growing up on top of a ski shop that his folks run in Mansfield, Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin had snow sports in his blood.

But when you hear him talk about the early days of sport, there is no one moment or grand plan.

Instead Chumpy says he just ‘hit check points’, got to the next race, did what he felt he needed to at that time to be ready and gave it hell.

And more than a decade since his rookie year, now a two time World Snowboard Cross Champion (and history maker, being the first Australian Winter sports athlete to defend a World title), two-time overall Crystal Globe winner, dual Olympian and gold medallist at seven World Cups, he keeps that simple, raw approach to what he does with him today.

Having come through from what he calls the ‘punk rock’ days of snowboarding where the guys fitted in shoots in between comps and hitched rides with older riders to the next comp to today where the team travels with an entourage of coaches and physios, Pullin is really proud of the growth of the local talent in his sport.

In fact, when Pete sat down with the team, Chumpy was called out time and time again by other athletes as an inspiration or someone who has helped them on their path.

In the off season, surfing and guitar are his meditation and way of offsetting the mental aspect of his hectic competition schedule and he is a regular down at the XTM house in Torquay. He has been in the XTM family for a long time now and there is a really special connection there.

His ideas and thoughts have helped shape a lot of the XTM products you love. He and Pete even got together and nutted out the design for his own signature XTM glove, the ACP.

“Quite a few years ago now when we had had a few crashes go down in our sport. We got together and designed a glove that looks as practical as it can, it just looks like a normal slim fitting pipe glove but grip through the palm is really perfect for out of start gates and its also got some Kevlar layers in it which makes it slice proof which is not necessarily a situation you want to end up in in our sport but certainly if it happens you want to be prepared for that.

Things like that it just means so much more than just receiving a bit of product in the mail and away we go. There is a real journey behind the whole thing.”

We are about to watch him do his thing on the Olympic stage for the third time. This season started about as well as he could have hoped for.

But with this guy’s track record – he has competed at 66 World Cups and has nine gold, four silver, six bronze and eleven top 5 finishes to his name - there was no surprise when he took out a double gold at the season’s opening in Argentina after a solid preparation and lead in in Australia up at Hotham.

“Two world cups back to back is pretty taxing. A lot of the secrets are exposed on the first day racing so on the second day you have got to try and pull a few aces out of your sleeve and make it work again”.

The bordercross boys just came out of their second last dress rehearsal for PyeongChang at the pre-Games World Cup in Bulgaria and all came out in the top 20 in the world rankings. Chumpy took out 5th in the final, topping the Australian riders and putting him in the number 2 spot in the world as he heads into his third Olympics.

“I feel like I have got this nice sort of positive momentum at the moment and it is just a nice place to be. If I am there feeling that way [when I get to Pyeongchang], I will be a happy guy because then it will be just down the racing and that is what I have done since I was 8 years old so it kind of like brushing my teeth for me, it is just a very automatic rhythm.”

Mens snowboard cross will kick off on day 7 of the Winter Games (February 15), with the world’s top 40 competitors – with the Aussies currently all well placed in the front of that pack - vying for a spot on the podium.

Follow Chumpy on Instagram, on Twitter, on Facebook or on his website.

XTM’s own Al Dower will be on the ground in Pyeongchang for the Games, cheering on Chumpy and the team and sending back all the news as it happens. Subscribe to our news for all the latest updates and interviews.

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