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USAT Foundation Ambassador Inspires Other Kids to Tri

by USA Triathlon Foundation

Caleb Prewett raises his arms and yells while crossing the finish line at the Great Floridian Triathlon.
Caleb Prewett

At only 15 years old, Caleb Prewitt is already setting records. He’s the youngest ambassador ever for the USA Triathlon Foundation. He’s also the youngest Down syndrome athlete to complete a sprint triathlon, according to his family.

And his moves at the finish line? Those are legendary, too.

“He has so much energy and loves to dance,” his mom Karen Prewitt said.

Caleb’s pathway to triathlon began with the Special Olympics young athletes program age 3. There he learned the fundamentals, like how to run correctly and how to walk on a balance beam. At 8 years old, he began competing in swimming, golf and stand-up paddleboarding.

After Special Olympics opened its triathlon program to kids throughout the state of Florida, Caleb thought he would try that as well. There he met Chris Nikic, the first Down syndrome athlete to finish an IRONMAN.

“He’s like my idol,” Caleb said of Chris.

Caleb began attending the program’s clinics. Then, he raced his first triathlon—a youth event with a 300-meter swim, 6-mile bike and 1-mile run—in May 2021. Upon crossing the finish line, he said he felt “so happy” and “so proud.”

He ended up racing six triathlons his first year.

Caleb Prewett smiles while running during a race. He's wearing a Special Olympics Florida kit.
(Photo by Caleb Prewett)

Caleb enjoys being active and chooses to train and race because he loves it, Karen said.

“It’s really a part of our life right now,” she said. “Everyone has something they’re interested in, and for Caleb, it happens to be triathlon.”

After school, the high school freshman likes to spend time at the gym or the pool. Although his favorite sport varies from day to day, Caleb says he currently loves running the most, especially with his guide and Unified partner, Stephen.

Special Olympics Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team, which helps promote friendship and understanding.

In the short time he’s been racing, Caleb has become someone who inspires youth and adaptive athletes to try the sport and live a healthy lifestyle.

“Others have let us know Caleb is their inspiration for getting involved,” Karen said. “I think it’s really important for kids with differing abilities to know if they work hard and try, they can do different things, too.”

Caleb has a big racing season planned for this year, which includes Age Group National Championships and Youth and Junior Nationals. This year, the youth event will offer a new category for athletes with intellectual disabilities.

Caelb Prewett and another competitor smile and pose for a photo while wearing a medal and flexing an arm.
(Photo by Caleb Prewett)

“We’re so excited to be a part of the first one,” said Karen, a lifelong runner who will guide her son at both events.

As for Caleb, he says he’s looking forward to racing alongside his mom this summer.

Besides spreading the word about triathlon for youth and adaptive athletes, Caleb is raising money to support the USA Triathlon Foundation’s mission of swim, bike and run for all. So far, he’s raised over $800 of his $1,000 goal. You can help him meet his goal by making a tax-deductible donation online.

The USA Triathlon Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and the charitable arm of USA Triathlon. With its mission to transform lives through sport by providing opportunities to swim, bike and run, the Foundation serves to generate a greater impact on the multisport community through charitable giveback and grants that advance the Foundation’s three pillars: (1) Encourage youth participation; (2) Inspire adaptive athletes; and (3) Ignite Olympic/Paralympic dreams. Since the Foundation was established in 2014, it has provided millions of dollars in grants to organizations and individuals in pursuit of its mission and pillars to create a healthier United States through triathlon.