Press Release


ESPY Award Winner Chris Nikic to Keynote Closing General Session at #SHAPENOLA

RESTON, VA, February 9, 2022 — SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators is pleased to announce that Chris Nikic will keynote the Closing General Session at the organization’s 2022 National Convention and Expo. The convention, which this year will be held in New Orleans, April 26-30, is the largest event of its kind in the country, attracting thousands of health and physical education teachers, researchers, and other physical activity professionals.

During the Closing General Session on Friday, April 29, Nikic will share the how-to behind his success, which is “getting better 1% at a time.” He has used this approach to achieve many goals in life, including setting a new world record in November 2020 by being the first person with Down Syndrome to complete a 140.6-mile Ironman triathlon.

In addition to being a two-time ESPY award winner and Guinness World Record holder, Nikic is also a Special Olympics Champion Ambassador, Boston Marathon and New York City Marathon finisher, recipient of the Barrier Breaker Award from the Institute for Sports and Social Justice, and author of 1% Better – Reaching My Full Potential and How You Can Too.

As Nikic says: “I only have one theme: 1% Better. It’s all I needed to achieve the impossible. It’s a plan simple enough for someone with Down syndrome to follow. It’s also simple enough for someone with Down syndrome to explain it. It’s also inspiring enough for anyone to do it. If I can do so much with so little, imagine what you can do.”

Friday afternoon's Closing General Session will also include the live announcement of the 2022 National Teachers of the Year in adapted physical education, dance education, health education, and physical education. SHAPE America’s Teacher of the Year program is sponsored by the Partner Network: SPARK, Wellness Training Specialists, Gopher and Goodheart-Willcox Publisher.

For more information about the 2022 SHAPE America National Convention & Expo, visit the website at and follow #SHAPENOLA.


About SHAPE America
SHAPE America – Society of Health and Physical Educators serves as the voice for 200,000+ health and physical education professionals across the United States. The organization’s community includes a diverse membership of health and physical educators, as well as advocates, supporters, and 50+ state affiliate organizations.

Since its founding in 1885, the organization has defined excellence in physical education. For decades, SHAPE America’s National Standards for K-12 Physical Education have served as the foundation for well-designed physical education programs across the country. Additionally, the organization helped develop and owns the National Health Education Standards.

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Press Information

Contact SHAPE America at:
(800) 213-7193