Adidas pushes for greater inclusion of disabled athletes
Chris Nikic, who has Down syndrome, will wear bib number 321 when competing at the Boston Marathon later this month. (Adidas)
With a new campaign, Adidas is calling on marathons to reserve bib number 321 – a number associated with Down syndrome – for neurodivergent runners and one of the biggest races in the country is already on board.
The bib number will be reserved for Chris Nikic during the Boston Marathon on April 18, Adidas said. In 2020, Nikic became the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman.
Nikic is featured in an Adidas video promoting the sportswear brand’s Runner 321 campaign, which encourages other races to follow the example of the Boston Marathon. The campaign also aims to help people with disabilities see themselves in mainstream sports, which Nikic says he lacked when he was younger.
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“Running has changed my life, but now I want everyone like me to see it’s possible for them too,” Nikic says in the video. “This time I’m runner 321. Next time I want it to be you.”
The Boston Marathon has already committed to making the Runner 321 available to all neurodivergent athletes at next year’s race, Adidas said.
“Chris Nikic is an inspiration to so many. He proved that nothing is impossible by becoming the first person with Down syndrome to complete an Ironman triathlon,” said Chris McGuire, Vice President of Marketing. “We hope others will join us in creating more representation and inclusivity at mainstream sporting events so that all athletes, like Chris, can truly see themselves in action.”