As he crossed the finish line on Saturday, Chris Nikic made history, becoming the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon.
Competing in Ironman Florida, the 21-year-old swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.2 miles in 16 hours, 46 minutes, and 9 seconds, earning him not only a medal but also a Guinness World Record. Nikic and his guide, Dan Grieb, made it to the end with 14 minutes to spare before the cut-off time.
On Instagram, Nikic, a resident of Maitland, Florida, said he is ready to set a "new and bigger goal for 2021," and explained that he competes in order to bring awareness to Down syndrome and the Special Olympics and promote "inclusion for all of us with all of you." The Global Down Syndrome Foundation praised Nikic for his accomplishment, saying he has "broken barriers and shattered doctors' expectations."
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.