Nearly 11 years ago to the day, Zanardi was competing in a CART race in Lausitz, Germany when a horrific crash saw a competitor clip across the front of his car at nearly 200 miles per hour. The impact took both his legs, and the racer lost over 70 percent of his blood before he got to the hospital. Miraculously, he survived, and while doctors cautioned of a lengthy recovery, Zanardi was walking again in months. Dissatisfied with his prosthetic legs, he designed a set of his own, and it wasn't long before he returned to auto racing in specially-modified cars.
Originally, Zanardi began hand biking to stay in shape, but slowly began competing. This week, he bested former gold medalist Oscar Sanchez for the win.