Walt Disney World Cast Member Jennifer Sturgess recently reunited with Chris Nikic, an Ironman athlete she helped train, at Disney’s Hollywood Studios to celebrate his accomplishments.

  • The Disney Parks Blog shared this touching story of Nikic, who is the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon.
  • Sturgess, who works at Disney’s Hollywood Studios, reunited with Nikic recently as he joined other training partners and friends to celebrate his remarkable accomplishment.
  • The Ironman race Chris completed consists of a 2.4-mile swim in the ocean, a 112-mile bike course and a 26.2-mile run, which he had 17 hours to complete.
  • Chris completed the race in 16 hours, 46 minutes and nine seconds.
  • Jennifer was by his side for the entire bike ride and even ran the last 17 miles of the marathon for encouragement.
  • “Shortly after the bike portion, our triathlon club got a frantic call from our coach that Chris was struggling in the last leg of the race and needed everyone to surround him and cheer him on,” Jennifer said. “Because I was a participant, I was able to get back on the course and encourage him across the finish line with our other training partners.”
  • Chris’ accomplishment is breaking down barriers and promoting further inclusion. During the race a spectator ran alongside Chris and his team while holding up his phone to Facetime his sister who had just recently given birth to a daughter with Down syndrome. The man shared his story with Chris and his team and told them about the hope he had given his sister.
  • “He said what we’re doing for Chris is what his sister hopes for with her child,” Jennifer said of the spectator.
  • The Disney Parks Blog shared a video of Chris’ visit to Disney’s Hollywood Studios at Walt Disney World: