A Florida man who made history by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon is honoring the woman who helped him cross the finish line — his mother.
Chris Nikic, 21, showed his appreciation to his mom by gifting her the medal he earned after completing Ironman Florida on Saturday. He finished the grueling race in a time of 16:46:09, nearly 14 minutes ahead of its 17-hour time limit.
“Look at that,” Patty Nikic, 61, said in heartwarming video as her son took off his medal at the family’s home in Maitland and draped it around her neck.
“You’re putting it on me? Oh, I love you. So proud of you.”
The pair then engaged in a long embrace before Chris went to see a doctor for treatment of his “battle wounds” — including a nasty abrasion on his right leg — after completing the 2.4-mile swim, 26.2-mile run and a 112-mile bike ride in Panama City.
“Great to be home,” Chris said. “Now I need a wife as special and amazing as my mom.”
Chris’s father told The Post Thursday that his wife was unable to join their son at the race due to ongoing health issues.
“She could not make the trip to Panama City, so the first thing he did when he came home was to give her a long hug and give her his medal,” Nik Nikic, 59, wrote in an email.
He said his wife of 34 years had “dedicated her life” to Chris’ goals and incessantly encouraged him to be “the best” version of himself possible.
“In fact, Chris’s dream that got him through this monumental effort was wanting to marry a smoking hot blonde from Minnesota like his mom, so this is genuine,” Nik told The Post.
Chris is also “officially allowed” to celebrate his achievement with a few Corona beers, his father said.
Source: Read Full Article