Chris Nikic becomes the 1st person with Down syndrome to compete during a full

21-year-old makes history as the first person with Down syndrome to complete Ironman triathlon

Chris Nikic, Special Olympics Florida athlete, becomes the 1st person with Down syndrome to compete during a full IRONMAN race on 7th November 2020, he’s taking the media by storm as a groundbreaking and high-performance athlete. Chris has also completed six sprint triathlons and one Olympic-distance race.

To watch Chris Nikic compete in a triathlon is a heartwarming and encouraging experience. He loves the swim and enjoys the final sprint to the finish line and into his parent’s arms. In a recent interview with Athletico, Chris shared some really interesting things about him like what inspired him to do a triathlon? How he plans to achieve his goals? and much more.

Ironman with Down Syndrome: Chris Nikic's special American

1. Tell us about yourself

I’m 21 years old, just graduated from HS, I like to do public speaking. I love to play and watch basketball and love eating out in restaurants like PF changes and Waffle house.

2. What inspired to do a triathlon?

My dream. My dad asked me what my dream was, so I wrote down: Make my own money so I can buy my own car, my own house and marry a smoking hot blonde from Minesota like my mom.

Meet Nickie-The Ironman

3. What is the most challenging and favorite sport in triathlon?

The hardest is the bike because it hurts my hands and butt when I ride for 8 hours. The best is the run because it is last, and all the ladies are waiting to give me hugs when I finish the race. 

4. How do you set goals and plan?

I have a giant whiteboard at my home where first I write down a BIG dream because that’s what gives me motivation. Then I write a BIG goal, like Ironman a year away. Next, I make a plan every week to get 1% better every day and lastly I write everything down and measure my progress.

Athlete with Down syndrome makes history in Ironman triathlon

5. Any message to all other people who are preparing or like to do an attempt for triathlon but lacking motivation?

1% Better every day. I did not have the motivation when I started. But I started doing 1 push up, 1 sit up and 1 squat. I did 1 lap in the pool,m 1 lap bike ride, and a short run. Then every 2-3 days I would do a little more. It doesn’t sound like much, but last week I did 200 push-ups, sit ups and squats, Also I did 100 miles of bike, 18 miles of run, and 5K swim. Motivation comes slowly as you get better slowly. I want to inspire other people with my story to BELIEVE that you can achieve more with a simple PLAN I follow to build a 1% Better HABIT.

21-year-old man made history as the first ever athlete with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon
Chris is continuously working hard, exercising an average of 30+ hours a week while also juggling school, homework, and an increasing number of media requests. He is surely becoming an inspiration for many other people and we are desperately in need of people who will shake us out of stereotypes. Team Athletico wishes him good luck.