In celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, ESPN premiered “17 Hours: The Chris Nikic Story” on SportsCenter.
On 7 November 2020, Chris Nikic—a Special Olympics Florida athlete—broke barriers as he crossed the finish line of the IRONMAN Florida Triathlon. He conquered the grueling 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride and 26.2 mile marathon in a total time of 16:46:09.
The SC Featured film follows Chris’s journey from his training days in the beginning to the end of the race, as he becomes the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full IRONMAN Triathlon.
Chris’ first IRONMAN race is just part of his story. ESPN is expanding on the piece shared during the SportsCenter broadcast with a companion web video focusing on how Chris has grown as a role model. It features 14-year old Special Olympics Florida athlete Caleb who is being mentored by Chris on how to become a winning triathlete.
What else can we expect from Chris! In June 2022, Chris will compete at the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando at the ESPN Wide World of Sports.
Special Olympics and ESPN’s partnership is rooted in a shared belief that sports can change the world. As the Global Broadcast Partner of Special Olympics and the Global Presenting Sponsor of Special Olympics Unified Sports®, ESPN is committed to building positive attitudes toward people with intellectual disabilities by fostering an environment of social and cultural inclusion.