Born with nothing, Filipino orphan becomes a hero
A 147cm-tall pocket rocket who started life in a Filipino orphanage has become Australia's latest Commonwealth Games hero, snatching a historic gymnastics gold medal.
Inspirational Christopher Remkes led a stunning medal charge in the final day finale at Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, grabbing gold on the vault, while teammate Alexandra Eade took home gold in the women's floor.
Remkes, who was adopted by South Australian couple Mike and Dora Remkes as a two year old, said his background was the force behind his success, in an emotional tribute to his adoptive parents.
"Without my parents I wouldn't be here today, I would probably still be in the orphanage," he said.
"I owe everything to my parents, they gave me so much love and support and drove me around to all the competitions.
The Aussie team's small star stood tall under pressure to "smash out" a winning vault of 14.766 including an opening vault of 14.866.
Mike Remkes, who was in the audience, told how his son had been dumped at a hospital as a two day old before being handed to an orphanage.
"When we got notification from the adoption agency, we saw a photo of him and we couldn't say no,'' he said.
"We instantly fell in love with him and we wanted a family. We talked to the nuns at the orphanage and they had never seen him smile or happy and as soon as we took him home to Australia and nothing but smiles and bubbly and full of life."
Remkes had kept coming back to gymnastics after starting out as a five year old.
"His passion his so strong and his journey is still continuing," the beaming dad said.
"We are proud of everything, he was given nothing in life and he has taken every opportunity and run with it."
Remkes broke a 24-year Commonwealth Games vault drought for his nation, which was last won by an Australian in 1994 when Bret Hudson triumphed.
Remkes set the early benchmark and then had to wait until the final two competitors, Courtney Tulloch and Dominick Cunningham, both of England, who were the highest qualifiers.
Tulloch (14.666) and Dominick Cunningham (14.333) could not reproduce their qualification form and both experienced costly untidy landings.
The 21-year-old revealed his small stature was his secret weapon.
"My height is almost like a super power, I'm lucky to have the build I have, it means I can go fast in the air,"
In an emotional day for the Aussie team, Victorian gymnast Eade shed tears of joy when she was announced as gold medallist after nailing her floor routine with a 13.33 winning result.
Earlier local heroine Gold Coast-bred Georgia-Rose Brown won silver (13.066) behind English teenager Alice Kinsella (13.7).