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Chris Nikic is the first person with Down syndrome to accomplish an Ironman triathlon

An athlete in America has become the first competitor with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman.

Chris Nikic, a 21-year-old from Maitland, crossed the line with a time of 16 hours and 46 minutes and etched his name in the history books.

An ironman features a gruelling 3.8km swim, a 180km bike ride, and then, after all that, competitors have to run a full marathon, which is roughly 42.1km.

Ironman Florida praised Chris for his hard work, dedication and determination to finish the race.

The event wrote on Facebook: “Congratulations Chris on becoming the first person with Down syndrome to finish an IRONMAN. You have shattered barriers while proving without a doubt that Anything is Possible!

“We are beyond inspired, and your accomplishment is a defining moment in IRONMAN history that can never be taken away from you…and now you get to brag for the rest of your life.

“The opportunities you have created for others around the world through this journey you embarked upon, is immeasurable. Thank you for allowing us to be a part of your remarkable life story and we can’t wait to see what you achieve next.”

The event posted loads of videos and images tracking the 21-year-old athlete as he made his way through the course.

In the lead-up to the event, Chris knocked back concerns that he might not be able to complete it.

According to the Orlando Sentinel, the young trooper said: “The doctors and experts said I couldn’t do anything. So I said, ‘Doctor! Experts! You need to stop doing this to me. You’re wrong!'”

But, if you thought he was going to pack it in and hang up his boots, you’d be wrong. Chris is already setting his sights on his next challenge.

Writing on Instagram, the legend said: “Goal set and achieved. Time to set a new and BIGGER Goal for 2021. Whatever it is the strategy is the same. 1% Better every day.

“YES, I did the work but I had angels helping me. God surrounded me with Angels. Best part of all. New family and friends. All about awareness and inclusion. Awareness for Down Syndrome and Special Olympics. Inclusion for all of us with all of you.

“I’m sorry for not responding personally to all your messages. It’s amazing but overwhelming because I got 33K new followers and messages since yesterday. I will try and catch up.

“I achieved my goal and now I want to help others like me.”

Good on you Chris!

Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@chrisnikic

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