Triathlon: First Person With Down Syndrome Completes Ironman In Hawaii

Status: 07.10.2022 17:32

Completely euphoric, Chris Nikic raised his arms in the air, pointed to his name on the scoreboard – and shook his head in disbelief. Once again he had made the almost impossible possible and pushed the boundaries.

As the first person with Down syndrome, the American has endured the ordeal at the legendary Ironman World Championships in the blistering heat of Hawaii. After 4:31:27 PM he crossed the finish line on Alii Drive shortly before midnight local time on Thursday (06.10.2022).

New record

Again he provided inspiration for his fellow human beings. He has one “Dreamrealized, Nikkic said. Who creates Hawaii, can in life “all others too” to create.

He stayed under the time limit for nearly half an hour, interrupting the line of his first 2020 Ironman in Florida by 15 minutes.

Nikic was born with the chromosome abnormality trisomy 21, which means that he has, among other things, a lower muscle tone (the degree of tension in a muscle), a slower reaction time and also slower learning.

“Getting one percent better every day”

“Yes, I have natural disadvantages”, says Nikki. But he sees that more as an incentive than a hindrance. His motto: “Getting one percent better every day.” Coach Dan Grieb always accompanies him as a guide during the match. The 23-year-old took 1:42:41 hours to swim and completed the 180.2 kilometers on the bike in 8:05:37.

Unlike all professionals or athletes of the age group, he can’t even start taking an aerodynamic position. Due to his handicap, Nikic has to ride very upright and his natural instability also forces him to use wider tires with significantly more rolling resistance. At dusk, Nikic made his way through the marathon in 6:29:01, and late at night thousands of spectators cheered him frantically in the finish area – the deserved reward for a unique performance by an extraordinary personality.

Men’s competition on Saturday

Nikic started Thursday in a slot for athletes with disabilities as part of the amateur race. Shortly before that, at 6.25 am local time, the women’s professional competition had started and was won by outsider Chelsea Sodaro from the US. Germany’s Anne Haug was third ahead of her compatriot Philipp.

The men will start their match on Saturday at 6:25 PM CEST. You can follow the race here in the live ticker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *