Chris Nikic of Maitland, Florida is the first person with Down's syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon.
Ln November 7, Chris Nikic made history. This 21-year-old man with a genetic defect called Down's syndrome competed in an Ironman triathlon, one of the longest formats in the discipline.
CBN News reports that he swam 3,8 km, cycled 180 km on a bicycle before running 26 km at Panama City Beach finishing 14 minutes before the time limit.
On his Instagram account, the athlete declared that God had "surrounded him with these angels" during the race. He added that “it was all about awareness and inclusion. Awareness of Down's syndrome and Special Olympics (Editor's note: sports organization organizing training and competitions for children and adults with intellectual disabilities). Inclusion for all of us with all of you. "
See this post on Instagram
“Ironman. The objective set has been reached. It's time to set a new BIGGER goal for 2021. No matter what the strategy, it's the same. Be 1% stronger every day. YES, I did the job but angels helped me. God surrounded me with angels. The best part of it all. New family and friends. Everything about awareness and inclusion. Awareness of Down's Syndrome and Special Olympics. Inclusion for all of us with all of you. I am sorry that I did not respond to all of your messages personally. It is incredible but overwhelming because I have received 21 new subscribers and messages since yesterday. I will try to catch up. If you would like to support my mission for Down Syndrome and Special Olympics, please visit my website www.ChrisNikic.com as 33% of donations go to my charities. I achieved my goal and now I want to help others like me. "
In a post on Facebook, Ironman congratulated the champion stating that he had "broken down barriers while proving without a doubt that anything is possible!" The opportunities you have created for others around the world on this journey you have embarked on are immeasurable. "
Thanks to this success, Chris Nikic also made his entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. A new one greeted with joy by the editor, Craig Glenday.
“It is an honor to welcome Chris to the Guinness World Records fraternity as the first athlete with Down's syndrome to complete an IRONMAN. I can't wait to see what this remarkable young man has in store for us. "
The famous American tennis player Billie Jean King, an activist against exclusion, also congratulated the champion on Twitter. " No limits. No borders ”she wrote, encouraging the young man to continue to“ dream big ”.
Congratulations to @ChrisNikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete the grueling IRONMAN!
No limits. No boundaries.
- Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) November8st
The athlete seems to decide to follow this advice since he is now aiming the Special Olympics of 2022 in Florida.
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