View Comments

Australia's easiest going Winter Olympian was fending off attacks on both flanks before the most important event of his life.

Alex `Chumpy' Pullin, who'll go for gold on Tuesday in the postponed snowboard cross event, found himself responding to questions about funding for the team.

Pullin was dragged into a controversy that had been brewing for months but exploded when Bruce Brockhoff, the father of snowboard cross rider Belle Brockhoff, sent out a letter to journalists saying that he'd cancelled his tickets to Sochi in protest over his daughter's treatment by the Australian Olympic Committee and its snow sports arm, the Olympic Winter Institute.

In an at times bizarre rant, Brockhoff said there would be people "dancing on the graves" of a number of Australian officials and coaches.

Pullin was drawn into the situation on Monday with Bruce Brockhoff questioning the level of funding the two-time world champion received in comparison to other athletes.

"To be honest, I'm focused on racing right now," Pullin said when asked about the issue.

"I'm here to purely ride this course. Everyone is getting on fine. I haven't been paying too much attention to anything back home, and the media, that's been going on.

"I'm feeling good, everyone is getting on fine: me, Jarryd (Hughes) and Cam (Bolton)," he added in reference two his two snowboard cross teammates.

Hughes had on Saturday refused to answer a question about the well-respected Pullin's influence on the team.

The 18-year-old is part of a group of snowboarders in the Australian team who had used the hashtag "teamoutcast" at the end of their social media sign-offs, in part as a protest against what they perceived as funding and support issues in the team.

Halfpipe silver medallist Torah Bright, Brockhoff and park and `pipe rider Scotty James form part of the group.

The AOC has so far refused to comment on the Brockhoff missive, saying it would after the event.

The national Olympic body has always maintained that its athletes were funded commensurate with results and that Bright and James had declined scholarships with the OWI.

Meanwhile, Pullin got some heat from another source on Monday when seven-times X Games champion Nate Holland questioned his decision to sit out much of the season.

Pullin only raced in one World Cup event, where he was dispatched in the first round after getting taken out by long-time rival Pierre Vaultier from France.

He also picked up a rib injury.

But American Holland had little sympathy despite Pullin's outstanding record in the sport over the past four years.

"I think he's been holding out waiting for this event and I think that is a horrible strategy," Holland told

"It takes time to get used to riding in a pack of guys. You can ride the course by yourself all day long, but if you are not riding in a pack with a bunch of guys around you it's some next level stuff.

"You know, he is fast. He's damn good. I don't really agree with his strategy of not racing to not get hurt, but who knows."