Man With Down Syndrome Reaches Historic First By Completing Ironman
A Florida man made history when he became the first person with Down syndrome to compete in the Ironman triathlon.
10 WBNS reports that Chris Nikic, 21, swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles as he partook in the event last Saturday. The Maitland native completed the extensive challenge against all odds, as Nikic told the Orlando Sentinel how medical professionals advised him not to move forward with his plans to participate.
“The doctors and experts said I couldn’t do anything,” Nikic stated. “So I said, ‘Doctor! Experts! You need to stop doing this to me. You’re wrong!'”
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Nikic has undergone multiple surgeries for various ailments starting at five months old. However, he continued to pursue an active lifestyle, training in swimming and sprinting despite medical setbacks. He eventually signed up to compete in the Ironman event, which took place in Panama City.
The BBC states that Nikic was able to complete the entire Ironman challenge in 16 hours, 46 minutes and nine seconds. This clocks in 14 minutes under the official cutoff time that gives competitors eligibility to be recognized by Guinness World Records.
“Chris Nikic, YOU ARE AN IRONMAN,” proclaims a post on the organization’s Facebook page.
“We are beyond inspired, and your accomplishment is a defining moment in IRONMAN history that can never be taken away from you,” the post continues. “You swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles, and ran 26.2 miles, and now you get to brag for the rest of your life.”
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