Alex Pullin has no idea how he got his nickname Chumpy. Or if he does he ain’t saying. Aussies of a certain age remember an ad for a dog food that was ‘so chumpy you can carve it’. Watching the men’s snowboard cross was a bit like eating said dog food.
We had golden expectations in this event. Chumpy’s a two-time world champ and two other Aussie young guns, world number two Jarryd Hughes and Cam Bolton, were also decent medal prospects.
So here’s how it played out. Chumpy got bundled out in the quarter-finals after missing the start. Jarryd was well placed in his quarter-final before being cleaned up by an errant German. Cam made it through to the semis and looked like getting a finals spot, before he too was taken out, coming away not with a medal but a broken wrist and a mashed up nose.
No one’s saying but the tensions over funding that broke out in the Aussie snowboarding team leading up to this event probably didn’t help our preparations.
Now, I don’t profess to know the ins and outs of who gets what funding. I tried to look into it but, two minutes in, lost interest. Frankly, all the snowboarders appear to lead a pretty chilled existence. No one seems to be having too tough a life out there.
So I wouldn’t have a clue whether Team Chumpy or Team Outcast is in the right here. But I do know Bruce Brockhoff shouldn’t be allowed computer time.
Bruce is the dad of Belle Brockhoff, one of the members of Team Outcast. Hours before the snowboard cross was due to start, Bruce thought it’d be a good idea to fire off this open letter to journos.
“In my opinion, there is much anger and disgust among the Australian snowboard cross community about the lack of support for Olympic snowboard athletes Scotty James, Jarryd Hughes, Torah Bright and my daughter.
“If Alex ‘Chumpy’ Pullin fails to deliver in the men’s snowboard cross at Sochi Olympics tomorrow either by chance, bad luck or his ability (he is a bit rusty according to some commentators), there will be dozens of Aussies in the know ‘dancing on the graves’, so to speak.”
Timing, Bruce. Enjoy your dancing, mate. Meanwhile, we face the prospect of leaving these Games without a gold medal for the first time in 16 years.
Over at the bobsleigh event, Jana Pittman officially became the first Aussie chick to compete in both the Summer and Winter Olympics. She and teammate Astrid Radjenovic are placed 14th after two runs. Jana deserves so much more than a paragraph. We’ll have more on her tomorrow.
Finally, two members of the feminist punk band Pussy Riot have been arrested in Sochi, accused of hotel robbery, and then released. They’ve come to Sochi to perform a new song, titled Putin will teach you how to love the motherland. Watch this space.
They said it
“It’s not about winning.” Chumpy Pullin in the Samsung ad that’s been playing on a continuous loop throughout the Olympics
“I feel quite ill about it… Being a parent, you can get very hurt and angry and vengeful when you feel your child is being slighted, but you have to act with emotional intelligence.” Torah Bright’s mum Marion reckons Bruce Brockhoff’s outburst was a bit dumb
“When we were arrested, we were not performing any kind of action, we were just walking around Sochi.” Pussy Riot member Nadzehda Tolokonnikova on Twitter