21-year-old Chris Nikic of Maitland, Florida, has become the first Ironman finisher with Down syndrome. He crossed the finish line at the 2020 Visit Panama City Beach Ironman Florida in under 17 hours.
As a reminder, the Ironman race is a big one. It’s a 2.4-mile swim, then a 112-mile bike ride and finishes with a marathon 26.2-mile run.
To achieve his goal, Chris trained four to eight hours each day, six days a week -- all while graduating from high school, taking even more classes and giving dozens of motivational speeches.
When Chris set his goal of finishing an Ironman triathlon, he vowed to “make history.” And then, sure enough, he did it.
And while he’s proud of his achievement, Chris knows that it has a positive impact on others -- especially those with Down syndrome -- because it shows them what’s possible.