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If you haven’t heard of Chris Nikic yet, you will. 

This 23-year-old is kicking some serious butt and taking names. So take a minute or two to find out who this impressive young man is. He’s experienced in shattering limitations and expectations. 

In November 2020, Nikic became the first person with Down Syndrome to complete the Florida Ironman race before going on to finish the New York City Marathon in 2021, becoming the first athlete with Down Syndrome to finish the Ironman-distance triathlon. 

But, his historic finish last week at the Ironman Kona World Championships in Hawaii makes him the first person with Down Syndrome to finish the World Championship.

The Ironman involves three events: a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride, and a 26.2-mile run.

Chris finished the 226.3-kilometer (140.6mi) race in an impressive 16 hours, 31 minutes, and 27 seconds, completing the swim in one hour, 42 minutes, the bike ride in eight hours, five minutes, and the run in six hours and 29 minutes. 

Nikic finished ahead of 49 other athletes. 

To make it even sweeter, he achieved the milestone on his birthday. 

And, Chris’s achievement in Kona comes during the annual Down Syndrome Awareness Month in the United States.

Using a specially-adapted bicycle molded to his specifications to help him ride more comfortably in races, he was also accompanied on the men’s amateur race by a guide.

Chris, who is also a motivational speaker, was awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance at the 2021 ESPY Awards for his dedication to his sport.

You can read more about this phenomenal young man in Outside.

Nickic has used his incredible story of struggle and determination to create the 1% Better Challenge, pushing himself and others, regardless of disability or challenge, to strive for 1% improvement every day.