Maitland man to receive award for athletes who overcome obstacles

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He defied the odds to do what no one else like him has done before, and now a young man from Maitland will be among some of the world’s greatest athletes for an award. Right before his big honor, he sat down with Matt from WESH 2 Lupoli to talk about everything. Chris Nikic follows a pretty grueling fitness routine: two trips to the gym a day, totaling eight hours of work. “The Ironman is tough, but I suck it,” Nikic said. Last year, Nikic became the first person with Down’s syndrome to become an IronMan. It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, then a marathon, 26.22 mile run. Nikic finished the competition in November after a year of training, largely during the COVID-19 pandemic. Patti, said they have always admired their son’s persistence, even since he was a small child, learning basic skills despite his difficulties. “He taught me the true meaning of working hard every day,” his mother said. a great honor in the world of sport. At this year’s ESPYs, Nikic will receive the Jimmy V. Award. It is named after college basketball coach Jim Valvano and is reserved for athletes who overcome great obstacles. Nikic, who is now 21, has been challenging limits since he was little. “The Special Olympics really gave Chris a really safe place to learn and have fun,” his mother said. Nikic says he’s having fun, and in times of doubt he remembers why he works so hard. “Because it’s my dream,” he said. Living the life of an IronMan, he says, is proof enough that he can tackle other life goals as well. with perseverance, his success is also a lesson in patience, living by a mantra of “improving by 1%” every day. “He shines a mirror on people and says, ‘Hey, look what you can do. “” Nikic and his family travel to New York to see him receive his ESPY award. The awards ceremony will be broadcast on July 10.

He defied the odds to do what no one else like him has done before, and now a young man from Maitland will be one of the world’s greatest athletes to grab a prize.

Right before his big honor, he sat down with WESH 2’s Matt Lupoli to talk about it all.

Chris Nikic follows a pretty grueling fitness routine: two trips to the gym a day, for a total of eight hours of work.

“The Ironman is tough, but I suck it,” Nikic said.

Last year, Nikic became the first person with Down’s syndrome to become an IronMan.

It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and then a 26.22 mile marathon.

Nikic finished the competition in November after a year of training, largely during the COVID-19 pandemic.

His parents, Nik and Patti, said they always admired their son’s persistence, even since he was a small child, learning basic skills despite his difficulties.

“He taught me the true meaning of working hard every day,” his mother said.

It is this determination that has earned Nikic great honor in the world of sport.

At this year’s ESPYs, Nikic will receive the Jimmy V. Award. It is named in honor of college basketball coach Jim Valvano and reserved for athletes who overcome great obstacles.

Nikic, who is now 21, has been challenging limits since he was little.

“The Special Olympics really gave Chris a really safe place to be, learn and have fun,” his mom said.

Nikic says he’s having fun, and in times of doubt he remembers why he works so hard.

“Because it’s my dream,” he said.

Living the life of an IronMan, he says, is proof enough that he can tackle other life goals as well.

“To live independent, and love, have a house and meet a lady,” he added.

In addition to perseverance, its success is also a lesson in patience, living by a mantra of “getting better by 1%” every day.

“He points a mirror at people and says, ‘hey, look what you can do’.”

Nikic and his family travel to New York to see him receive his ESPY award.

The awards ceremony will air on July 10.


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