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Chris Nikic Completes 2022 IRONMAN World Championships in Kona, Hawaii

Man standing with his bike
Two men work together.
Special Olympics Champion Ambassador Chris Nikic with his Unified Partner Dan Grieb transitioning from the swim stage to the bike stage.

Twenty-three months ago, Chris Nikic set out to become the first person with Down syndrome to complete an IRONMAN competition.

With a time of 16 hours and 46 minutes, Chris completed that IRONMAN in style, and in the process, entered the Guinness World Records with his extraordinary accomplishment that was a victory for those with intellectual disabilities around the world.

Well, it’s time to update that record.

Earlier this morning in Hawaii, Chris completed his second IRONMAN competition and beat his previous record with a time of 16 hours and 31 minutes.

Completion of an IRONMAN is no small burden.

The competition consists of a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and a full 26.2 marathon run.

To successfully accomplish one of these legs is remarkable.

To accomplish update the record books as the only person in history with Down syndrome to complete two IRONMAN competitions is amazing.

Chris continues to serve as a beacon of light for Special Olympics both in the United States and around the world.

The Florida native has been designated as a Special Olympics Champion Ambassador for the impact he’s made on the organization.

While Chris’ mantra is to get 1% better each day, he’ll be happy to know he actually improved his IRONMAN time by 2% from his race in November 2020.

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