“If we take one lesson from his success, let it be: Never Give Up.”
Brand’s Hatch has an illustrious motor racing history. The site held twelve British Grand Prixs between 1964 and 1986. It is therefore fitting that during London 2012, Alex Zanardi, an ex-Formula 1 driver won two Paralympic golds.
Zanardi lost both of his legs in a tragic crash in 2001. It is the fear of the world of motor racing that such an accident happens again. Therefore the legacy of his two golds in hand cycling is so crucial given the safety conscience era the sport now finds itself.
Alex Zanardi won his race a stagerring 27.14 seconds ahead of his nearest rival. An achievement given that Zanardi was one of the most inexperienced athletes in the field. However what probably worked to the Italian’s advantage was his first hand knowledge of the circuit. His time as a racing driver meant he was certain to know more than his peers.
What one has to remember about Alex Zanardi is: this is not his first major comeback. In November 2006, and after five years of successful rehabilitation, the Italian tested for the Williams F1 team, a name with as much prestige as him. With the aid of his prosthetic legs, Zanardi was able to make a triumphant return. Unfortunately it was his age and most likely lack of funding that restricted his continuation in the sport.
What project he takes on next he has claimed will depend on “curiosity”, but whatever it is I can guarantee you that he will give it his absolute best. After all, there is no doubt that Alex Zanardi is a true legend, a man who shows there is no such thing as disability – only ability. If we take one lesson from his success, let it be: Never Give Up.