Alex Zanardi wins Paralympic Gold

Alex Zanardi is not a man who quits. This former Formula 1 and Champ Car driver-turned paralympian is testament to the kind of rugged determination we celebrate here on Top Gear. And guess what? He’s just won a gold medal.

The 45-year old former racer competed in the H4 handcycling time trial, beating Germany’s Nobert Mosandi by more than 27 seconds at Brands Hatch.

If you’re not aware of his extraordinary story, Alex was a former driver with Jordan, Minardi and Williams – he even out-qualified Michael Schumacher once – until a horrific and near-fatal accident at the Lausitzring in 2001.

The accident severed the nose of his car, and he lost both of his legs and nearly three-quarters of the blood in his entire body. It was reported that during the helicopter ride to the hospital, Zanardi was read his last rites.

Thankfully his quick recovery and hours of surgery saved his life, and he soon returned to competitive racing using prosthetic limbs he designed himself, before embarking on a career as a paralympian.

Today’s gold medal merely caps an astonishing competitive comeback: he won silver in the world time trial last year, and finished fourth in the 2007 New York marathon. Mr Zanardi, TG salutes you.

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i’m Italian, and I’m absolutely proud of Alex. He just shows us that success will come with determination and hard work. He never quit. He’s a living legend!

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never forged when i saw him driving in wtcc on brno circuit (czech rep.) when he won the race1, what a driving!
CLAP EVEREBODY!!!

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A favourite amongst the F1 paddock, double champion of Indycar (1997 and 1998) and now, olympic gold medallist… What a hero!

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I don’t have words to describe how much I admire Alex Zanardi. This is what leading by example is all about. Hats off to you Alex THE GREAT!!!

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My new hero; a points scorer in F1, double IndyCar champion, won in WTCC, outqualified Schumacher once, and now Paralympic Gold.
A true inspirational figure!!

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I was fortunate to personally congratulate him podium side after his win at the 2000 Surfers Paradise Indy race meet. He was the first to perform celebratory beach front circle work that went on to become a tradition! A LIVING LEGEND & TRUE CHAMPION!!!

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GO ZANARDI GO
POWERRRRRRR !
congrats Alex :))

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The sheer volume of fight and enthusiasm in this man is humbling to behold.

I’m not sure I could react to such a catastrophic event in such a fashion.

THIS is a celebrity.

THIS is the type of attitude the general public should be encouraging, not the moronic vanity of the reality TV crowd.

I’m sure there are lots of heroes, like Alex, that go unsung and ignored by the mainstream media.

I’m just pleased he’s taking this tiny bit of media coverage away from the fake-tanned tattooed scum that usually occupies it.

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+1 on Average Lee’s comment.

Fair play to Alex Zanardi. Real achievement.

Sick of airhead celebrities whose only achievement in life is daddy giving them a limitless credit card.

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wow! Such a great achievement. This is the guy I would love to see as a guest at Top Gear!

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can’t greet him enough. he’s my hero.

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Italian GP this weekend he must be on the podium with the winners with his gold medal so car enthusiasts can celebrate this Olympian,is this the first Motor Racing Driver ever to win a gold medal in the Olympics????

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So why hasn’t Top Gear invited him to be a guest yet? He has one of the best personalities of any sports figure out there and such an inspiration to everyone!

INVITE ALEX TO TOP GEAR!!!

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I was fortunate to see Alex race twice in person in CART, and have followed his racing career since. He is the true definition of hero, and what an inspiration to anyone – disabled or able bodied.

Congrats Alex! I don’t know what to think of the rumors of Vasser and Ganassi trying to get you back in an IndyCar to make a run at qualifying for the 500 next year. On one hand I think it would be fantastic, on the other hand it would be terrifying to think what could happen.

Living legend applies here. Please get him on Top Gear.

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ONCE A WINNER ALWAYS A WINNER !!!

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He’s an amazing driver and a great inspiration! There’s even rumors spreading of him returning to the Indy 500 in 2013. I hope that’s true!

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Will Top Gear be converting the Reasonably Priced car so that paralympian stars can have a crack at the track?

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Reblogged this on kishorehemlani.

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