A 14-year-old who has Down syndrome and lives in Florida was recently inspired to accomplish a mini-triathlon, becoming the youngest with the genetic condition ever to accomplish the feat.
Caleb Prewitt from Jacksonville found motivation to participate in athletics after meeting his role model, 21-year-old Chris Nikic—an accomplished triathlete who also has Down syndrome.
Before that, Caleb never had the drive or inclination to partake in physical exercise. He struggled to ride a bike or even swim across a pool on his own.
Caleb’s mother, Karen, said that competing in a triathlon was not a goal her son had any investment in—that is, until he met Chris.
Late last year, Chris set a record by becoming the first person with Down syndrome ever to attempt the Ironman competition.
Not only did Chris partake in the race, but he also entered the Guinness World Records by completing the Ironman within the required time frame.
In less than 17 hours, Chris ran 26.2 miles, biked 112 miles, and swam 2.4 miles to complete the triathlon.
Caleb was motivated by this and the pair met up.
When asked if he liked Chris, in an interview with CBS News, Caleb answered “yes,” adding that he was “super cool.”
“If there was a poster with Chris on it, it would be in Caleb’s room,” Karen said of her son’s adoration for the athlete.
The pair then started working out together, and Caleb’s passion developed into a dream he looked forward to achieving.
Recently, Caleb took part in a mini-triathlon, which he successfully completed, becoming the youngest person with Down syndrome to complete such a race.
Karen said that Chris’s warm, inspiring nature helped her son realize that taking part in the triathlon was something possible and achievable.
After completing the event, Caleb received an invitation to compete in Florida’s Special Olympics triathlon team, where Chris, his inspiration, also participates.