Clocking in at 16 hours 46 minutes 9 seconds (just 14 minutes shy of the 17-hour cutoff time), triathlete Chris Nikic did not end with the fastest time when he lately completed his 1st Iron Gentleman race—but he did established a new earth record.

This previous Saturday, just after swimming 2.4 miles, the 21-12 months-outdated Floridian cycled 112 miles, and then ran a 26.2-mile marathon to become the initially competitor with Down’s Syndrome to successfully cross the end line in the 42-yr historical past of the Iron Guy Race.

“You have shattered barriers whilst proving with no a doubt that anything at all is achievable,” tweeted the official Ironman Triathlon Corporation. “We are over and above motivated, and your accomplishment is a defining instant in Ironman record that can by no means be taken absent from you.”

For his awe-inspiring endeavours, Nikic also attained himself a put in the Guinness E book of Entire world Documents as the very first human being with Down’s Syndrome to grow to be an official Iron Male.

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“Being the 1st particular person with Down’s Syndrome is a great sensation,” Nikic informed Today, prior to the occasion. “I can demonstrate to kids that if I can do it, they can do it, much too.”

Nikic’s father, Nik, hopes that moms and dads of other small children with Down’s Syndrome who see what his son has achieved will be influenced. “We want them to realize previously that their baby is a blessing, and they can are living an awesome daily life,” he instructed Right now.

As significant as taking on the actual physical and mental difficulties of an Iron Gentleman were to Nikic, he experienced other powerful good reasons for coming into the opposition. He may well not have been carrying a banner, but the information he took across the finish line with him was crystal clear.

“To Chris, this race was additional than just a end line and celebration of victory,” his dad advised the BBC. “Ironman has served as his system to become one particular phase nearer to his aim of residing a everyday living of inclusion, normalcy, and management. It’s about staying an illustration to other youngsters and households that confront comparable limitations, proving no aspiration or objective is as well high… If Chris can do an Ironman, he can do anything.”

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Nikic experienced among 4 to 6 hrs a working day to put together for the grueling party, and that schooling paid off. Even right after suffering a tumble from his bicycle in the course of the second leg of the race, he named on his interior reserve of toughness to get again up, hold likely, and get the work completed.

“Goal established and realized,” Nikic posted to the delight of social media posse, like 33,000 new Instagram followers. “Time to established a new and even larger purpose for 2021.”

A person of Nikic’s largest supporters, all-time tennis terrific Billie Jean King, tweeted the fantastic response: “No restrictions. No boundaries. Preserve dreaming massive and likely for it, Chris!”

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With hopes of competing in the 2022 Unique Olympics scheduled on his property turf in Orlando, it appears to be as if Chris Nikic has loads of big goals however to arrive correct.

As for that medal he received for finishing just one of the world’s most grueling triathlons? He gifted it to his loving mom.

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Judy Cole

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