Chris Nikic (l.) At the Ironman 2020 (archive)
Photo: Michael Reaves / dpa
After 6:01:22 hours the American Chris Nikic reached the finish of the Boston Marathon in 15th place.
That doesn't sound like spectacular at first, but Nikic was born with the chromosomal disorder trisomy 21 and a hole in his heart. He only learned to walk at the age of four after numerous operations.
As the finisher of the Boston Marathon, the 22-year-old set another milestone for people with Down syndrome - and moved his mom Trish to tears.
"I can't say how overwhelmed I am," she said with a broken voice in an interview with WBZ-TV.
Meanwhile, Chris enjoyed the chants of the audience with a broad grin, relieved he fell into the arms of his companion Amanda.
"It's an incredible day," he enthused: "I've always believed that I could do it."
In November 2020, Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman in Florida.
For his performance he has to train harder than others - his muscles grow more slowly due to Down's syndrome.
Meanwhile, Nikic is not only an athlete, but also a book author, motivational speaker and two-time winner of the ESPY Awards.
When he finishes a marathon for the first time, the end of his sporting ambitions has not yet been reached: he will start the New York Marathon in November before the ultimate challenge lies ahead next year: the Ironman Hawaii.
mfu / sid