Chris Nikic

Chris Nikic—the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full IRONMAN®—leads star pack
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As the sun barely began to rise at 5:52am on Saturday morning, 7 November 2022, Special Olympics Florida athlete Chris Nikic and his Unified partner and coach Dan Grieb, entered the water in Panama City at the start of the IRONMAN Florida triathlon. Sixteen hours and 46 minutes later, as the nighttime darkness settled in, Chris crossed the finish line and made history of as the first person with Down syndrome to finish a full IRONMAN race.
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Tune-in to the Ben and Bilal Show on Canada Talks 167/SiriusXM every Wednesday at 5:30pm for the recurring Special Olympics segment to explore how the people, events and programs make the movement so powerfully inclusive. They will talk to Special Olympics athletes, celebrity Ambassadors and supporters, staff and more!
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A month before Chris Nikic, Special Olympics Florida athlete, becomes the first person with Down syndrome to compete in a full IRONMAN race on 7 November 2020, he is taking the media by storm as a groundbreaking and high performance athlete.
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Special Olympics is grateful for the participation and support of fathers all over the globe. Fathers who are athletes, fans, coaches, volunteers, staff and cheerleaders help make this movement so special.
This is an excerpt from the USA Today article titled “Special Olympian Chris Nikic trains to be first person with Down syndrome to complete Ironman.”
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Coach, Unified partner and guide Daniel Grieb reflects on his training journey with Chris Nikic, Special Olympics Florida, and his quest to be the first athlete with Down syndrome on record to complete a full Ironman distance race (140.6 miles).
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Chris Nikic, a Special Olympics Florida athlete who has Down syndrome, competes in golf, swimming, track, basketball and triathlons.
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