Chris Nikic struggles with the wind on Kona: “It knocked me over ten times”

(Photo: Instagram Chris Nikic)

Chris Nikic may be more popular than some professional athletes in our sport: a few years ago, the American became the first athlete with down syndrome ever to finish a Long Distance triathlon. Nikic has been passionate about triathlon ever since, and even earned himself a ticket to Kona. But after months of preparation, learning to get onto a bike by himself and using aero bars, he encountered a problem once on the big island: “A big problem… 30 mph (ca. 48 km/h) wind.”

“Yesterday’s ride on Hawi mountain was really bad”, Nikic wrote on Instagram. “Everything until yesterday was perfect. Yesterday was horrible. How bad? Worst experience ever. It put me in tears”, he continues. “The wind knocked me over about ten times”, Nikic explains. “Scary… I wanted to quit, but I did not quit. I kept going. But mentally it was exhausting. That mountain is going to be a problem. So today we are going back to the spot on top where it was the worst. I will keep fighting until I win. Today, tomorrow, the next day until I can ride without getting knocked down. Chocolate Ice cream makes everything better.”

He’s got some great support, though, because besides his personal team that helps Nikic to prepare or this tough race, Lucy Charles got his back too. “You’ve got this”, she commented on Nikic’ post.