The weekend brought the desperately sad news that the former Formula 1 racing driver, Alex Zanardi, had been involved in a handbike accident in Italy, when he apparently collided with a truck on a state highway near the town of Pienza to the south-east of Siena. He remains in a serious but stable condition in intensive care.
For anyone who does not know the story of this truly exceptional man, he is someone who’s story transcends motor racing and transcends sport itself and has made him one of the most inspirational people around today.
Zanardi, drove in both formula 1 and the American CART series where he was a two times champion, but he was involved in a horrific crash in 2001 which resulted in the amputation of his legs. However, his determination resulted in a return to racing in less than 2 years and he subsequently secured 4 wins in the World Touring Car Championship.
In addition to his return to motorsport he took up handcycling and subsequently won the New York Marathon in 2011 at the age of 45, and four Paralympic gold medals at London 2012 and Rio 2016. He was in training for the Tokyo Paralympic games when this weekend’s accident occurred.
In my 2014 article “To be inspirational, take time to be inspired”, I wrote about inspiration being very much like a battery and that you need to charge your inspiration battery as often as possible. Whenever I am feeling a bit low, and in need of inspiration I need only remind myself of Alex’s remarkable story to be inspired once again.
To read the Sky Sports news article click here.