Special Olympics: Weight lifter Christopher Baumann - New York News

Special Olympics: Weight lifter Christopher Baumann

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) - Whether it’s in the gym or in the real world, Christopher Baumann does the heavy lifting. This Special Olympics athlete is proving he can carry the weight of the world on his shoulders, and then some.

Christopher loves a good session with the weights at Palos Health and Fitness in Orland Park.

"They pump me up," said Christopher.

He's preparing to take on the best powerlifters in the country at the USA games.

"He’s goal oriented," said Christopher’s powerlifting coach Ray Balcarcel

And the goal in New Jersey is, of course, to win.

"To try to win a gold, and if not, try to do my best," Christopher said.

Christopher’s best bench press is pretty good. He has benched over 200 pounds in practice, and a certified dead lift that would even give the Hulk a challenge.

"280,” added Christopher.

That's some serious weight.

"You better believe it," said Balcarcel.

Balcarcel also said Christopher hasn't reached his limits.

"I think there, he can reach 300," added Balcarcel.

Christopher’s success in the gym mirrors his success in life, pushing harder even when things get heavy.

"It’s given him a lot of confidence to do better all the time," said Christopher's mom Peggy. "He's ready to tackle the world."

It’s been a long eight years and it’s now starting to pay off. Christopher looks forward to the trip to New Jersey, and competing in the bench and deadlift for Team Illinois at the USA games.

"It’s the idea of meeting other kids from other parts of the country. Most of us will never realize that type of dream and joy," said Balcarcel.

Christopher's mom chimed in.

"It’s a dream come true for him, he is so excited. My husband and I are so proud of him," added Peggy.

Aside from training, Christopher has held a steady job at Jewel in Orland Park for eight years.

Peggy said that the Orland Park Special Recreation Association and Palos Health and Fitness have been key to helping her son achieve his goals.

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