Disability advocate sets the bar high for himself
GOLDEN BOY OF GYMNASTICS STARS IN AN ONLINE MINISERIES
ST CLAIR’S Chris Bunton attends Sydney University, teaches gym at Penrith’s YMCA and has won two gold medals for gymnastics at the Special Olympics.
Now the busy 23-year-old is an online star.
The Don’t DIS my ABILITY ambassador recently teamed with New Zealand multimedia company Attitude Live to document his journey in a miniseries, Keeping Up with Chris.
“It’s about raising awareness for people with a disability and about what they can do,” Mr Bunton said. “It’s about having abilities and what I can achieve.”
Mr Bunton’s motto of “Dream big. Once you have that dream, work hard, practise and never give up” has guided him through life.
After completing the HSC, Mr Bunton was given the chance to fulfil a lifelong dream of tertiary study.
As an Inclusive Education Program student at the University of Sydney, Mr Bunton is studying digital business innovation.
The two-year scheme, run by the Centre for Disability Studies, gives people with intellectual disabilities the chance to explore university life.
“I love university,” Mr Bunton said. “I study. The library is fun and I like my mentors.”
Uni is just one of his many extraordinary feats. He won Special Olympic gold medals in Shanghai in 2007, for rings, and in Athens in 2011, for high bar.
Mum Halina Bunton said when Chris was born with Down syndrome, she wondered if he would ever achieve independence. Now she said he has exceeded all her expectations.
“When he walked out at the opening ceremony in China, I cried. I saw him waving and sticking up his thumbs. He was so happy and proud to be representing his country,” Mrs Bunton said.
Watch Keeping Up with Chris at youtube.com/ watch? v-kemVdcL2NnQ
Special Olympics gymnast Chris Bunton has overcome many obstacles in life.