Alex Pullin flies flag for Australia

Bega Valley snowboarding icon Alex Pullin was awarded a great honour being named Australia’s Winter Olympics flag bearer last week. 

“Chumpy” as he is commonly known pipped a long list of athletes and VIPs- including James Packer - in being granted the honour. 

In a recent radio interview Pullin said he was thrilled by the privilege and it inspired him even more to do well.

“To be passed that flag by Lydia [Lassila], who is someone in winter sport who has done so many great achievements and really pushed it forward for the younger generations coming forward; that is something that really needs to be appreciated,” Pullin said. 

Australian chef de mission Ian Chesterman made the announcement at the team reception saying Pullin represents the new generation of Australian Winter Olympians. 

Before the event Pullin said he was looking forward to leading the team out. 

“It's such a special experience to walk out as an athlete in that opening ceremony. It's just very emotional, it's uplifting.

“You just want to throw your hands in the air and celebrate with your friends and also you feel that there's something ahead of you and it's just a moment around the corner.”

The two-time snowboaring world champion is one of Australia’s best chances at gold and said it was hard to describe actually being at the Games. 

“"I have tried to explain it that many times, it's really tricky," he said. 

"I will say that it's just fantastic to be in an individual sport and yet feel so united with an Australian team, all there together."

Pullin qualified the fastest in his event in Vancouver, but crashed out in the head-to-head race, he said is more focused this time around. 

“That is something that is really special I think as a winter sports person from Australia to come together with the whole team," he said. 

“Especially this time everyone is so strong and we have more people than ever and more, I would say medal opportunity, but even top 10 opportunities which need to be appreciated too.”

The news echoed quickly around the internet and on socil media with the member for Eden-Monaro Peter Hendy expressing his delight at Pullin’s selection. 

“I congratulate Alex Pullin… that is a fantastic achievement,” Mr Hendy said last week.

“We can all be very proud of Alex.”

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