Alex Zanardi has faced many challenges since a devastating 2001 accident at a CART race in Germany left him a double amputee, but the 46-year-old Italian is in excellent spirits these days after coming off a gold-medal performance in the 2012 Summer Paralympics. In a video interview on CNN, Zanardi acknowledges that he cheated death in auto racing, and he is now seeing how far he can push himself in his latest sport, hand-bike racing.
Former Formula One racer Alex Zanardi took the Paralympic gold in para-cycling earlier this week by laying down a time of 24:50.22. Para-cycling pits competitors against one another in handbike races. On taking the checkered flag, Zanardi slid from his carbon-fiber bike and hoisted it above his head with one hand in triumph. The victory underscores just how far the former race car driver has come since September 15, 2001.
Alex Zanardi is an impressive person. Despite losing both his legs (and almost his life) in what many assumed was a career-ending crash during a 2001 CART race at Lausitzring, Zanadari wasn't content to accept that fate. After being disappointed with the prosthetic limbs doctors offered at the time, he designed his own and it wasn't long before he was back behind the wheel of a vehicle.