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Florida man who became first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman invited to Special Olympics USA Games

Chris Nikic was also awarded with the Local Hero Award.
Credit: IRONMAN/Special Olympics Florida

FLORIDA, USA — Chic Nikic made history when he became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon. Now, he's also punched his ticket to the Special Olympics USA Games.

The man who proved anything is possible when he swam 2.4 miles, biked 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles in just 16 hours and 46 minutes was welcomed home Thursday when he got the news. 

“This is an incredible feat,” Gov. DeSantis said. “It has drawn international attention to Chris and Special Olympics Florida and he even made it into the Guinness Book of World Records.”

Nikic, along with his teammates, will represent Team Florida in the USA Games in Orlando in June 2022. Not only are they the first group of athletes to be invited to compete, but they will also represent the state in only the second showing of the sport of triathlon in the history of the USA Games.

And if that was not enough, Nikic took home one last honor-- the Local Hero Award by Special Olympics Florida. The award celebrates "inspiring individuals whose actions help create a more accepting and inclusive world for people with intellectual disabilities."

Way to go, Chris! 

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