Ellidy Pullin, the partner of Australian Olympic snowboarder Alex “Chumpy” Pullin, has given birth to their daughter 15 months after his death last year.
Pullin, a two-time world champion snowboarder died while spearfishing in his native Australia in July 2020.
The snowboarder, 32, was the Australian flag bearer at the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and competed in three Olympics in total. He was known as an experienced diver and had previously posted about his passion for spearfishing on social media.
Pullin announced that she was pregnant in June, writing on Instagram that she and her late partner had been “dreaming for years” about having a child.
“Your Dad and I have been dreaming of you for years little one. With a heart wrenching plot twist in the middle, I am honoured to finally welcome a piece of the phenomenon that is Chumpy back into this world!” she wrote.
In her podcast “Darling, Shine”, she said that she and Alex had been trying to conceive prior to his death, but noted that they had difficulty conceiving, adding that she had a low egg count.
“We would have tried for a few more months if he was still around, then 100 percent gone into IVF. That was always the plan,” she said.
The pair’s baby, Minnie Alex Pullin, was conceived via IVF (in vitro fertilization) and was born on October 25. Ellidy said: “We did that sperm retrieval process, of course, because Chump passed away, to get his sperm. The doctor did hand select the best viable sperm out of the millions and popped it straight into the egg.”
Ellidy told Vogue Australia that her pregnancy was “bittersweet,” adding: “On one hand, I feel overwhelmed by happiness, while also knowing Chump’s not here to share in it.”
Before his death, Pullin was understood to be free diving and spearfishing.
Another diver found Pullin unconscious without an oxygen mask, Gold Coast Police District Duty Officer Chris Tritton told CNN affiliate 9 News at the time, adding that the snowboarder appeared to be diving alone at the time.
Pullin was unconscious when he was brought to shore, according to 9 News. Emergency services performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation for 45 minutes but couldn’t save his life.