IRONMAN: 21-Year-Old Chris Nikic becomes first person with Down’s Syndrome to complete brutal race


Chris Nikic has made history by becoming the first person with Down Syndrome to finish an Ironman.

The 21-year-old achieved the remarkable feat in his home state of Florida on Saturday, and has set his sights on breaking even more records in the sport. 

Speaking ahead of the race this weekend, Nikic had told TODAY: "I am a person with Down syndrome who will complete the Ironman. I am going to make history by crushing it.

“Then I am going to make history again in Kona.”

Kona, Hawaii is the destination for next October's Ironman World Championship. Having completed the first part of his dream, Nikic now appears ready to make his mark on the world stage next year.

An Ironman is one of the most gruelling sporting challenges. Athletes are required to swim in open water for 2.4 miles, followed by cycling for 112 miles, before running a full marathon (26.2 miles) to finish off.

Yet Chris managed it, and prior to the daunting task he had already planned what he wanted to do to ensure that his achievement would not be forgotten.

“Right after the race, I am going to bring the bib to the corporate Ironman offices, they have an empty spot on the wall. I can be on the wall of fame,” he said.

Throughout his life, Nikic has also been able to count on the support of his parents. Chris' dad, Nik, is delighted that his son has found something that he is passionate about, and is looking forward to seeing his son continue to defy the odds.

“For me and my wife, the most important thing is that my son is being included and having a sense of purpose.

“I am excited about being a part of this journey and watching him and seeing how he feels and how he handles things and watching him being included by the Ironman Foundation," he said.

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