Published: Wednesday 11 April, 2018

Pinoy Orphan Adopted by Australian Parents Wins Gold Medal in Gymnastics

Christopher Remkes was just a day and half old when he was left in an orphanage in the Philippines. But this week, Remkes is a hero after giving Australia, his adoptive country, its first gold medal in men’s vault at the Commonwealth Games in 24 years.

Pinoy orphan Christopher Remkes

Christopher Remkes on route to winning the gold medal in men’s vault at the 2018 Commonwealth Games. (Twitter photo/@CommGamesAUS)

Standing just 4’10”, Christopher Remkes credits his small stature for his remarkable feat. He said his height is his ‘super power’. And in the men’s vault, where speed, strength and agility are key, Remkes certainly had an advantage. Christopher also credited his parents for his achievement.

“Without my parents I wouldn’t be here today, I would probably still be in the orphanage,” he said.

It was remarkable win for the orphan Filipino boy who was adopted by a childless couple when he was just two years old.

Mark and Dora Remkes had been praying to find a child to adopt for years. They finally found their child in an orphanage in the Philippines run by nuns, a child that had been sleeping in a small box cot for two years.

Pinoy orphan Christopher Remkes

Christopher Remkes with his adoptive parents, Mike and Dora. (Photo from MailOnline)

“When we got notification from the adoption agency, we saw a photo of him and we couldn’t say no,’’ recalled Christopher’s adoptive father, Mike. 

Christopher started in gymnastics at an early age and, by the time he was 10 years old, he was hooked. His father coached him during the early years but later passed him to more qualified coaches as his skills advanced.

“He had guts,” Remkes’ proud father told The Australian. “Nothing was impossible to him. His primary school teacher called him Superman because he was ­always jumping and flying over anything. They called him “man of steel” — he showed that much guts and determination.”

“He never gave up. I always said to him I am going to take you as far as I can go,” Mike added. “His passion is so strong and his journey is still continuing.”

Christopher Remkes

Christopher Remkes with other gymnasts. (YouTube screen grab/Australia Sports Commission)