The heavy burden of pressure to succeed in the Sochi Winter Olympics is not weighing down on two-time snowboarding champion Alex Pullin.
In fact, “Chumpy” as he is commonly known, revells in the thrill of the competition knowing he has the country watching.
Pullin said he loves his sport so much the pressure doesn’t get to him.
“There is no better way to shatter pressure and expectation than by just enjoying what you’re doing,” Pullin said during an interview while training at Perisher.
Pullin said the Australian team had begun making waves around the world in the last few years and was now a force to be reckoned with.
“It’s a really exciting time for all of us.
“We rock up on tour now as the Australian team and people know to look out for us.
“Not all that long ago, it was a lot different,” he said.
Pullin said the team had been achieving good results.
“Within the whole team there’s so many great personalities and ability.
“Certainly result-wise it’s been a good last four to five years.
“Everyone seems to be really well placed.”
Watching a fellow Australian do well inspires Pullin to push himself further.
“When I see another Aussie athlete on the winter tour do really well, I might see it on Facebook and I’m like ‘Yes - that’s bloody good’. And then I want to go and do that next week.
“It pushes you on.
“I hope that’s what happens at the next Olympics,” he said.
Pullin, who began skiing at the tender age of three, grew up with the slopes in his backyard and never looked back.
Pullin had grown up at the family-owned Pullin’s Ski and Snowboard Hire Shop in Mansfield, Victoria, which his parents ran for 36 years.
The summers were a very different affair though, as they were often spent on a yacht.
“Mum and dad would take summers off and often not work at all,” Pullin said.
“They were really into sailing. When mum was pregnant with me they went around New Zealand.”
“Mum would home-school us on the yacht and we’d sail around New Caledonia.
“I’d come back so dark and my show-and-tell would be a spear or some type of wood carving.
“In Mansfield, they would have been thinking ‘who are these kids?’,” he said.
Pullin said his parents were a great determining factor in him joining the sport.
“Ending up in this sport with the guidance that I got from mum and dad was always very real.”
Pullin said he had always been determined about his passions and that is what led him to his two snowboarding championship victories.
“It was a case of if you want it to happen, make it happen,” he said.
Pullin is now deep in training for the 2014 Winter Olympics to be held in Sochi, Russia.
He said having the support of athletes around him kept him in high spirits.
“Everyone seems to have that energy and desire to bounce off each other and do something special for not only ourselves, but for our country,” he said.