The IRONMAN Group is proud to announce the premiere episode of Anything Is Possible® – The Series, which will air on NBC, January 3, 2021 at 2:00 p.m. EST / 11:00 a.m. PST with the story of Chris Nikic. The 60-minute series debut features the journey of Chris Nikic, the first person with Down syndrome to complete a full-distance IRONMAN® triathlon, the toughest single-day endurance event in the world, consisting of a 2.4-mile (3.8km) swim, 112-mile (180km) bike, and 26.2-mile (42.2km) run. After the story debuts on NBC, it will also be available globally through the IRONMAN Now Facebook Watch page.
Chris Nikic, a 21-year-old recent high school graduate, keynote public speaker, and Special Olympics Champion Ambassador from Maitland, Florida, was determined to become an IRONMAN® triathlon finisher and overcome challenges of trisomy 21 to prove that Anything is Possible®. With the support of his family and friends, and the coaching and guidance of Dan Grieb, Chris used the goal of getting “1% Better” every day to go from one push up to an IRONMAN finish line, making history and showing what is possible for people all over the world.
“This new series is about telling the journeys of those who find the ways to accomplish goals beyond what others might believe are achievable as they prove anything truly is possible,” said Andrew Messick, President and CEO of The IRONMAN Group. “It is an honor to kick off this new series with the remarkable story of Chris Nikic, who showed the world that pre-conceived barriers or limitations can indeed be shattered, bringing a new reality of what is possible not only for individuals with disabilities, but for all who face challenges of any kind.”
The Chris Nikic episode introduces viewers to the Nikic family and Chris’s pathway through the daily realities of Down syndrome, a genetic disorder resulting in developmental delays and physical disabilities. Viewers will be immersed into Chris’s IRONMAN journey, which began with months of grueling training and preparation for the ultimate goal. The build up to the start line and continuing through a historic race day will keep everyone on the edge while Chris fulfuills his ultimate dream of inclusion and breaking barriers, as he carrys the hopes of the audience with him. With the 17-hour finish cutoff looming, Chris and his guide, Dan Grieb, face an all-day race against the clock.
The audience will get a front-row seat to hear some of the inspirational insights and personal triumphs from family and friends, including Nik Nikic, mentor, motivator, and father of Chris. Concurrently, viewers will watch Chris dig deeper than ever before in an attempt to overcome the unexpected adversities that were thrown his way during race day, and step into unchartered territory in the pursuit of his dream.
“To Chris, this race was more than just a finish line and celebration of victory. IRONMAN has served as his platform to become one step closer to his goal of living a life of inclusion, normalcy, and leadership. It’s about being an example to other kids and families that face similar barriers, proving no dream or goal is too high,” said Chris’s father, Nik Nikic, when describing the significance of Chris’s IRONMAN bid.
After seeing his son undergo four surgeries and becoming increasingly sedentary at the age of 18, Nik encouraged Chris through a principle he created initially for his workplace—to be 1% Better every day. For Chris, this path started with one push-up and grew to the IRONMAN triathlon, with no plans of stopping there. As Nik said, “If Chris can do an IRONMAN, he can do anything.”
Since the inception of the iconic IRONMAN brand and its first event in 1978, a full-distance IRONMAN triathlon has come to represent the ultimate test of body, mind, and spirit for both professional and amateur athletes. While abilities of all kinds have been welcomed and celebrated at races throughout the years, Chris is the first person with Down syndrome to even attempt the race. The episode will show how his finish is nothing short of groundbreaking and a reminder of the power and resiliency of the human spirit.
Anything is Possible – The Series, is produced by The IRONMAN Group production team, which also spearheads the annual IRONMAN World Championship® broadcast that airs on NBC annually. The Chris Nikic episode will be narrated by the familiar voice of Jim Cutler.