Chris Nikic knows what he wants in life. “My dream is to buy my own house, buy my own car, [and] get a smoking hot blonde wife from Minnesota,” the 21-year-old tells Runner’s World.
Chris, who has Down syndrome, realizes this reality won’t be handed to him. “My dad says if you sit on the couch and play video games...
Nik Nikic gets choked up thinking about what it would mean to him if his son accomplishes a seemingly impossible goal. Chris Nikic, who competes in the Special Olympics, is training to become the first athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon competition.
Each year, a select group of athletes from around the world race through the IRONMAN Foundation's Your Journey, Your Cause program to support the charities of our choice. Charities include Down Syndrom & Special Olympics. We share a passion to create positive change in the world to prove that "Anything Is Possible."
May 12, 2020 - Chris Nikic is doing what we all should during a pandemic, taking on new challenges. Chris, a Special Olympics Florida athlete became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete a Half Ironman distance of 70.3 miles.
To watch Chris Nikic compete in a triathlon is a heartwarming and encouraging experience.
The 20-year-old with Down syndrome loves the swim and enjoys the final sprint to the finish line and into his parent’s arms.
But his favorite part? His ritual?
Well, that’s all the hugs he stops to give spectators, fellow race participants and his family. There’s no stopping him in it — he sneaks in as many hugs as he can get.
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Chris Nikic is a 20-year-old from Florida with Down syndrome who loves to swim and the feeling of that last sprint until he passes the finish line and throws himself in the arms of his parents. He has already completed six sprint triathlons and one Olympic, and his favorite test is the Challenge Daytona.
He started competing in triathlon when he was 16, but he lost two years due to ear surgeries, and when he returned to this sport a year ago, he could barely swim a long in the pool, he could barely run 100 meters and it cost him a lot to ride in bike. "I've gone from barely able to do anything," said Nikic, "to run an Olympic distance triathlon." Since he began practicing triathlon at age 16, they perceived significant improvements in Chris's intellectual performance. A task that used to take him up to a month before, he could solve in 2 or 3 days after starting the triathlon.
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