November 12, 2020

Chris Nikic Becomes First Person with Down Syndrome to Complete Ironman Triathlon

photo from Ironman Facebook page
On Nov. 7, Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon. 

The Ironman consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run. The three athletic feats must be completed within 17 hours.

“The doctors and experts said I couldn’t do anything,” Nikic told the Orlando Sentinel. “So I said, ‘Doctor! Experts! You need to stop doing this to me. You’re wrong!’”

“From the time he was born, we were told by everyone that he’d never do anything or amount to anything or be able to accomplish anything [beyond] being able to tie his own shoes,” his father Nik Nikic said. “And we believed them for the longest time.”

Chris completed the race in 16 hours, 46 minutes and nine seconds. His achievement was the culmination of years of training. His father commended his son for working so hard and said that Chris served as an example of how people with Down syndrome can still accomplish great things and live meaningful lives.

“Kids with Down syndrome, typically, when they graduate from high school, they start living a life of isolation. They don’t go on to college; they don’t get a job,” Nik said. "Any level of inclusion they had, which was minimal, falls off a cliff. But Chris now trains six, seven days a week with friends. He goes and meets them at the lake, he goes to the track and runs with them, they come to our neighborhood and he rides bikes with them. He calls them every night, and they take his phone call ... and they invite him to their homes. The greatest gift that Chris has gotten in all this is the gift of belonging.”

Those with Down syndrome can live fulfilling lives. Abortion ends real lives with real value, and aborting unborn children with disabilities is no different.