Finishing an Ironman is a feat for any triathlete, but when Chris Nikic crossed the finish line last weekend, he was even greater: The 21-year-old American is the first athlete with Down syndrome to achieve the achievement. Almost 17 hours after jumping into the water to swim 3,860 meters, cycle 180 kilometers and another 42.2 running, he crossed the finish line on the beach in Panama City, Florida this Saturday.
Nikic completed the test in 16 hours, 46 minutes and 9 seconds, as published Guiness World Records, which gives you credit for being the first person with Down syndrome in the world to complete the test. He reached the finish line late at night and accompanied by his coach, who acted as a guide. Nearby, his father received his son excitedly.
The athlete already sports the record in his Instagram biography, where he has 92,600 followers. He defines himself as a motivational speaker and ensures that he is dedicated to “spreading love.” “Objective set and achieved. Now is the time to set another greater one for 2021. Whatever it is, the strategy is the same. 1% better every day. Yes, I did the homework, but I had angels helping me,” said Nikic in a post. The official account of the Ironman race on Twitter highlighted that the young man “has broken down the barriers” and has shown that “anything is possible”.
The athlete trains six days a week, always starting with a sit-up. Train with a group of athletes who invite you to join in their leisure activities, dinners and parties. “This effort has given him [a Chris Nikic] a whole world of inclusion “, pointed out his father, Nik.
Nikic is preparing for his next challenge: the Special Olympics of the year 2022. His coach, Dan Grieb, a veteran triathlon runner, says that working with him has opened his eyes to a new world. “The best 16 hours, 46 minutes and 9 seconds of my life!”, He posted on Instagram.