Guest Speakers at Kavaliro: Chris & Nik Nikic

Guest Speakers at Kavaliro: Chris & Nik Nikic

"I want to change the perceptions and raise expectations for others like me so we can reach our God given potential. Believe and Achieve by Getting “1% Better" - Chris Nikic 

22 year old triathlete and public speaker, Chris Nikic, and his father, Nik Nikic, joined the Kavaliro team for an inspirational presentation about Chris' journey to becoming the first person ever with Down Syndrome to complete an Ironman Triathlon.


Chris Nikic was born with Down Syndrome, a genetic disorder caused when abnormal cell division results in extra genetic material.  This lead to many challenges for him growing up. Chris spent a lot of his time ill and hospitalized, had open-heart surgery at just five months old, and at the age of three, Chris was forced to use a walker because of his low muscle tone. Nik quickly realized that his son will have to face a lot more obstacles in life than the average kid. Nik, however, was determined to help his son lead a normal life where he can accomplish anything he desired, including buying his own car, starting a business, and marrying a "smoking hot blonde from Minnesota". 

In 2020, Chris accomplished something no one else with Down Syndrome had ever accomplished. After months of extensive training with his father and coaches, Chris became the first person with Down syndrome to ever cross the finish line at an Ironman triathlon, a grueling 140.6-mile race that took Chris nearly 17 hours to completeChris has since completed several marathons and was recently awarded the Jimmy V Award for Perseverance as part of the 2021 ESPY Awards.

Chris is now training for the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games and is looking to compete in the Ironman triathlon in Hawaii. He is currently raising money for this race and if you are interested in helping Chris on his mission to Hawaii, you can donate at: Chris' Nikic Ironman Hawaii

This was a very emotional conversation between Chris, Nik and our team. Their strong father-son bond and their unmatched work ethic really left a lasting impression on Kavaliro. We can say with sincerity that this video call truly inspired us all to continue grinding to become the best versions of ourselves that we can be. No matter how massive the challenge, their "1% Better" ideology, in which you get a little better each day, can be applied by anyone to accomplish ANY goal.

Chris and Nik, we are so grateful for the time we were able to spend with you two. Thank you again for joining us for this call and we will be rooting for you at the Ironman Hawaii Triathlon!  

To learn more about Chris and his story, please visit: