The widow of late Australian snowboarding champion Alex 'Chumpy' Pullin has announced the birth of their child, 16 months after his tragic death.
Ellidy Vlug took to Instagram on Thursday to announce the heartwarming news.
“Hello - I have a baby!” she wrote. “And we have been a lil busy and tired.”
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The announcement sparked an outpouring of congratulations from some of the biggest names in Australian sport.
“Just the most beautiful news,” Australian surfer Nikki Van Dijk commented.
Matty Wilson and Jessica Fox also offered their congratulations.
Pullin, a world champion snowboarder who carried the flag for Australia at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Winter Olympics, died in 2020 in a spearfishing accident.
Pullin lost consciousness while underwater and drowned at Palm Beach on the Gold Coast.
But in a heartwarming twist, Vlug revealed in July that she was pregnant with Pullin's child thanks to IVF.
Vlug said a doctor was able to secure healthy sperm from Pullin’s body in the days after his death.
“My grief is for Chump, he’s missing out on being a dad," Vlug said this week.
"I see dads with their babies knowing how good he would have been.
“Every day I go to the beach and I see guys walking along the beach with their chicks and the guy is carrying the baby in the carrier on his chest and the girl’s got the dog.
“When I see a dad with a baby it f***ing kills me, and I am so happy for that person, it’s not a pity party here."
Ellidy Vlug's heartache over Chumpy Pullin's death
Vlug admitted her new baby would bring "bittersweet" feelings.
“I’m having a baby which is going to be the most beautiful thing ever and bittersweet in that it’s almost going to create more trauma here and there,” she said.
“It’s really hard to swallow the fact that he’s missing this, he deserves this time, he wanted this, he would have been the best dad.”
Pullin's death sent shockwaves through the sporting community.
“When he told me he’d decided to go for a dive, I was just like ‘epic, love you, watch out for sharks’,” Vlug said last year.
“I always say that.
“He was a family man through and through. Me, and his sister and parents and (dog) Rummi were his world. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him.”
Vlug wrote in a latter that she pinned to her front door: "Know that Chumpy absolutely loved life and lived life to the full.
“I am eternally grateful that I have lived my life with him and I am deeply saddened that his life has been cut short.”
Known affectionately as ‘Chumpy’, Pullin won world championship titles in 2011 and 2013, as well as nine World Cup gold medals.
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