Washington Post Profiles Three Special Olympics Athletes with Down Syndrome

Chris Nikic wears swim cap and goggles while smiling in open water.

Chris Nikic trains with his coach for upcoming triathlon

The following is an excerpt by The Washington Post from the article titled, For World Down Syndrome Day, meet 3 young people who dream big and achieve.

The article profiled Special Olympics Florida athlete Chris Nikic.

In 2020, Chris Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to finish an Ironman triathlon. He swam 2.4 miles, bicycled 112 miles and ran 26.2 miles. Chris credits his success to his dad, whom he describes as his best friend, and to his training philosophy. “You’ve got to work hard,” he says. “No excuses, no limits.”

Special Olympics Illinois athlete and entrepreneur Nate Simon was also covered in the article.

Simon wants people to know that his friends with Down syndrome need positivity and love and that everyone should be treated equally regardless of their abilities. He attends a work-training program during the day, with the goal of becoming a barista. When he’s not working, Simon likes to hang out with his best friend—his mom—and play golf with a Special Olympics team.

The article then outlines Special Olympics Florida athlete and advocate Abigail Adams.

“An advocate is a teacher and a friend,” she says. “I love inspiring people.”

Adams urges other people with Down syndrome to have confidence in their goals. This year she’s competing as a swimmer and triathlete in the Special Olympics USA Games in Orlando, not far from her home in Longwood, Florida. She’s also launching a makeup company called Shimma. Still, she wants people to know that despite her busy public life, she likes the same things that other young women enjoy.

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