Gymnastics Australia's Pocket Rocket, Chris Remkes Chats All Things MAG

To finish celebrating the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) program, Gymnastics Australia spoke with current Senior National Squad member, Chris Remkes. 

If you follow the Australian MAG program you will have heard the name Remkes, who is currently recovering from his ACL injury. 

Standing at just 147cm, Remkes story on how he got to where he is today is quite special, and Gymnastics Australia is proud to have him as one of our elite athletes. 

Remkes was born in the Philippines in 1996 and was adopted from an orphanage at two years old by Mark and Dora Remkes. With the support of his parents, Remkes took up gymnastics at the age of five and hasn’t looked back since.  

“I honestly wouldn't want to be anywhere else,” Remkes said.

“The experiences and challenges from being involved within the MAG Program are what shaped me to be who I am today and I couldn't do it without the help of my support group.

“I'm proud to be a part of the MAG program because I experience all these wonderful adventures with my coach, teammates and GA staff. I wouldn't be where I am without them.”

In 2014, Remkes made the jump into Senior International level where he earned the opportunity to represent Australia at his first World Championships. 

“My first world champs is a stand out moment for me as it was my first major international comp as well,” Remkes said.

“It was a good experience and I guess a stepping stone to what brought me to my first Commonwealth Games and First Commonwealth Games medal, which was also a big moment for me.

Preparation for such major international competitions is important for all athletes and it was no different for Remkes for his first Commonwealth Games in 2018.

“The journey was tough in all honesty,” Remkes said.

“So much preparation went into it, both physically and mentally but in the end it was all worth it.

“To be able to compete for Australia will always be a blessing in my eyes. 

“I also want to thank my support group, my coaches, physios, teammates and GA staff.”

Since joining the sport as just a young kid, Remkes believes the skill levels of gymnasts have improved.

“I think for me what has evolved is the level of difficulty of the skills we compete compared to twenty years ago.”

Unfortunately, Remkes ruptured his ACL earlier this year at the Doha World Cup. This was a devastating blow for Remkes and the Australian MAG Team with Remkes to be sidelined for an extended period of time but he is on the road to recovery. 

The always so positive Remkes knows that the sport of gymnastics is just getting better and better.

 “Gymnastics is only going up from here,” Remkes said.

“There are already a lot of juniors from around the world who are comparable, if not better than some seniors. 

 “As far as the sport itself, it's becoming more and more popular so hopefully it will become as popular as other Olympic sports in the future.” 

Remkes is based at the National Training Centre at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra and since his surgery has jumped straight into his rehabilitation program. The Australian gymnastics community can’t wait to see Remkes back in action.