Chris Nikic continues to break barriers with Kona finish

Chris Nikic has become the first person with Down syndrome to complete the IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii after a journey to the start line that has changed the perception of what’s possible for intellectually challenge athletes.

Nikic has had to navigate open heart surgery, as well as multiple head and neck surgeries, as he beat the odds and became an IRONMAN. The 22-year-old, from Florida in the United States, has used his “1% better” foundation as a platform to show what is truly possible.

Breaking down barriers

Nikic finished in a remarkable 16:31:27, after capping the race off with a 6:29:01 run split. The Central Florida Triathlon Club member, competing in his first IRONMAN World Championships, made his whole team proud after a performance marked by fortitude and determination.

KAILUA KONA, HAWAII - OCTOBER 06: Chris Nikic and guide Dan Grieb celebrate after finishing the Ironman World Championships on October 06, 2022 in Kailua Kona, Hawaii. (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN)
Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images for IRONMAN

And it’s been clear this week that he continues to impact everyone in the sport as he is one of the many athletes who truly epitomise IRONMAN’s slogan of “Anything is possible”.

The dedication shown by Nikic, alongside his work with “1% better” will create an everlasting legacy as he becomes one of the pioneers for people with Down syndrome in his sport.

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