Chris Nikic made history on November 7 when he became the first person with Down Syndrome to compete in a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon. Chris took on the Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN Florida triathlon on Saturday, November 7, 2020.
Chris is a 21-year-old triathlete and Special Olympics Florida athlete who has already completed a half-distance triathlon (70.3 miles) this past May and became the first individual with Down Syndrome to do so. Now, he’s in his final days of training leading up to the 2020 Visit Panama City Beach IRONMAN Florida triathlon in Panama City Beach.
A full-distance IRONMAN triathlon competition consists of a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike, and a 26.2-mile run totaling 140.6 miles, all of which needs to be completed in 17 hours. Chris has been training for this for years, as he started competing in triathlons when he was 16 and has overcome so many physical obstacles to get to this point. Chris is also an Olympic hopeful who looks to qualify for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games taking place in Orlando.