Adidas Pushing For Greater Inclusion Of Athletes With Disabilities
With a new campaign, Adidas is calling on marathons to set aside bib number 321 — a figure associated with Down syndrome — for neurodivergent runners and one of the country’s biggest races is already on board.
The bib number will be reserved for Chris Nikic at the Boston Marathon on April 18, Adidas said. In 2020, Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman.
Nikic is featured in an Adidas video promoting the sportswear brand’s Runner 321 campaign, which is encouraging other races to follow the lead of the Boston Marathon. The campaign is also aimed at helping people with disabilities see themselves in mainstream sports, something that Nikic says was missing when he was younger.
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“Running changed my life, but now I want everyone like me to see it’s possible for them too,” Nikic says in the video. “This time, I’m runner 321. Next time, I want it to be you.”
The Boston Marathon has already committed to making Runner 321 available for all neurodivergent athletes at next year’s race, Adidas said.
“Chris Nikic is an inspiration to so many. He has proven nothing is impossible becoming the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon,” said Chris McGuire, vice president of sports marketing at Adidas. “We hope others will join us to create more representation and inclusivity in mainstream sporting events so all athletes, like Chris, can truly see themselves in action.”
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