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Nikic granted Kona spot

First Down Syndrome athlete to complete an Ironman to race Ironman World Championship

Photo by: Michael Reaves/ Getty Images for Ironman

Chris Nikic has been a bright spot in the triathlon world during a year where there hasn’t been a lot to celebrate. This weekend the 21-year-old who became the first athlete with Down syndrome to finish a full distance race announced on social media that he’s been given an entry to the 2021 Ironman World Championship in Kailua-Kona, Hawaii next October.

As he did for his first full-distance race at Ironman Florida in November, Nikic will follow his “1% better every day” mantra as he trains to finish the race in Hawaii. As an 18-year-old Nikic’s father Nik urged him to start with a push up and improve on that each and every day. Three years later that one push up had built to a 3.8 km swim, 180 km bike and 42.2 km run – Nikic completed Ironman Florida with his guide and coach Dan Grieb in 16:46:09.

Photo: Michael Reaves/ Getty Images for Ironman

One would imagine that as he did for his race in Florida, Nikic will raise funds through the Ironman Foundation through his efforts at the race in Kona – this year he raised money for Down Syndrome, RODS and Special Olympics.

You can find out more about Nikic’s fundraising efforts on his website chrisnikic.com.