Column: The story of the Ironman with Down syndrome — and the history he made this weekend

A spectator cheers on Chris Nikic as he approaches the transition from the bike portion to the run portion of Ironman Florida on Nov. 7, 2020 in Panama City Beach, Florida. Chris Nikic became the first Ironman finisher with Down syndrome. (Michael Reaves/Getty Images for IRONMAN/TNS)

When he did it, all 16 hours and 46 minutes and nine seconds of physical and psychological hell, his father told him: “You woke up this morning as a boy with Down syndrome. You’re going home as an Ironman.”