Chris Nikic announced as new Laureus Ambassador

Chris Nikic - Laureus Ambassador
Chris Nikic announced as newest Laureus Ambassador, the first Special Olympian and first athlete with Down Syndrome to be a Laureus Ambassador. 
The 24-year-old has made a habit of breaking down barriers and his remarkable story reads like a Hollywood script. Dedicating himself to a philosophy of becoming ‘1% Better’ every day, he overcame the odds to become in 2020 the first person with Down Syndrome to complete an IRONMAN (2.4-mile swim; 112-mile cycle; 26.2-mile run) – an achievement which was honoured with the Laureus Sporting Moment of the Year Award in 2021. 

Since then, he has set and achieved ever more impressive goals. He is an author and public speaker, and in 2023 set out to complete the six World Marathon Majors: Berlin, Boston, Chicago, London, New York and Tokyo. In March 2024, he is scheduled to complete that remarkable feat in Japan.

Nikic is also a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics and his new role with Laureus continues an extraordinary partnership between those two organisations which began at the inaugural Laureus World Sports Awards in 2000, when the Special Olympics was the recipient of the first Laureus Sport for Good Award. As recently as last year, Laureus were the charity partner of the 2023 Special Olympics World Games in Berlin. 

Nadia Comaneci, Laureus World Sports Academy Member, has been inspired by Chris's achievements and said: “I am thrilled to welcome Chris to the Laureus family and I know he will make a big difference as part of our unique team of champions.

"Like Chris, I am a Global Ambassador for the Special Olympics, an organisation that has been close to my heart for three decades. Like so many people all over the world, I have been inspired by his story.

"The ‘1% Better’ philosophy is a perfect example of the kind of change that everyone in Laureus believes in. Chris is an agent of inclusion and I know that, as a Laureus Ambassador, he will continue to change the world through the power of sport.”
Nikic was also welcomed to the Laureus family by another game-changing marathon runner, Laureus Ambassador, Eliud Kipchoge, who said: "Chris’s story is an inspiration to us all. His dedication, passion and hard work has taken him all over the world and his philosophy of improving by 1% each day has impacted many people.

"As marathon runners we embody the idea that anything is possible and Chris takes that message to another level. I want to wish him all the best as he prepares for the Tokyo Marathon and I look forward to seeing him there.” 

Nikic said: "I'm excited and honoured to become an Ambassador for Laureus, joining a team that includes so many champions and heroes from across the world of sport.

"I want to thank Laureus for seeing me as someone who can represent them in the amazing work they do all over the world. Laureus Sport for Good is all about changing the world through sport and that's exactly what I'm trying to do."

“Everything I do is about raising awareness and understanding of Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities and the goal is always inclusion.”

chris nikic - laureus ambassador
Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics, said: “Sometimes people complain and bemoan the state of the world and there's a lot to complain about and bemoan. But there's also good things to celebrate and to cheer and the fact that Chris Nikic has trained the way he has his whole life, the fact that he's competing in the IRONMAN as a world class athlete, the fact that's he doing something that almost no one else on earth can do, the fact that he's doing all of that with Down Syndrome is an extraordinary achievement. 

“The fact that Laureus is recognising it speaks to the idea that the world can change. All of us can change, all of us. So the world of sport is changing. Laureus is leading the change. Chris Nikic is an extraordinary example of athletic achievement. His achievement points to the extraordinary capacity of every Special Olympics athlete to impress and move the world, that's where we want to get to, and we're grateful that Laureus is going to help us get there.”

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