Chumpy on top of the world
Snowboard-cross star Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin gives Suzuki the lowdown on the workings of a champion.
After winning your second Crystal Globe and Overall World Cup title, you must be on top of the world!
It was an unreal season. If you’d told me at the start that this was all going to happen, I would’ve been pretty happy. I did a lot of miles and put in the time, so it was fantastic to hit the tour ready and to have everything come together.
What’s your training schedule like in the lead-up to the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics?
It’s huge. I’m training for about 11 months of the year, with short breaks here and there. The training is mostly based in Sydney in Narrabeen, at the northern beaches. It involves a lot of gym and cross sports like surfing and mountain biking twice a day, six days a week, plus on-snow training when we can get it.
Going into the Olympics, it’s a big year for everyone which is exciting. Last time I went in as underdog, but this time I’m exactly where I want to be. I’m definitely aiming for gold.
Describe your perfect day.
One of my most perfect days was the World Championships this year. It was really cold, getting down to minus 40 on the training day. You were barely able to breathe and bits of metal from my riding gear were shattering into pieces. But that was one of the best days of my life, especially coming away with the win and sharing that with my team. It’s hard to beat – even though it was bloody freezing.
Some might say you’ve got the ultimate job – its only flaw the never-ending winter …
I’m a big fan of the summer, but unfortunately I don’t see much of it these days. At Christmas, I like making the trip back home to get some time on the ground and get in a bit of sun and surfing. I think it really pays off for me; it keeps me fresh. All the wins I had this season came off that sort of break, so I’m looking to do something similar going into the Olympics.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
It’s hard to pick a favourite spot. My parents have moved from Victoria up to New South Wales, where they’re living on the South Coast. So I come back and crash there, eat plenty of their food and just hang out. It feels so far away from everything else in the world: its own little paradise. There are heaps of places to explore and adventures to be had. That’s really what I thrive on.
Where does the nickname ‘Chumpy’ come from?
I knew that was coming! It just sort of came from snowboarding, hanging out with a few older guys … I’ve been asked that question so many times and I never have a good story to back it up. I might have to create one.