Double-amputee racing driver and Paralympian Alex Zanardi in ‘serious’ condition after handbike crash

Tributes have poured in for Italian race automobile champion-turned-Paralympic gold medallist Alex Zanardi after he crashed his handbike into a truck all through a race in Italy.

Zanardi is in a medically induced coma and stays in really serious issue soon after the crash, which transpired near the Tuscan town of Pienza throughout the Obiettivo tricolore relay race on Friday.

The 53-yr-previous — who misplaced the two of his legs in a motor racing crash almost 20 many years ago — underwent a 3-hour operation for intense head injuries.

“The condition of Alex Zanardi is severe but stable,” Zanardi’s surgeon at the Santa Maria alle Scotte healthcare facility in Siena, Dr Giuseppe Olivieri mentioned.

“He arrived below with major facial cranial trauma, a smashed facial area, and a deeply fractured frontal bone [forehead].”

“We will not see what his neurological condition is until finally he wakes up — if he wakes up,” Dr Olivieri explained, who additional that the operation went “according to system”.

Alex Zanardi turned an completed athlete just after his motor racing occupation ended.(AP: Mark J. Terrill, File)

“As significantly as a prognosis of how he’ll be tomorrow, in a week or in 15 days, I really don’t know. But I am convinced that he should be treated.”

Sabino Scolletta, director of the hospital’s intensive care unit, stated, “the condition is obviously important in terms of brain injury.”

Zanardi’s inspirational history of overcoming the odds


Zanardi, a two-time CART championship winner and previous F1 driver, is an inspirational figure right after he recovered from horrific accidents all through a race to return to motorsport and go on to contend in the Paralympics.

Just after two spells in Method One possibly aspect of a thriving CART stint, Zanardi returned to the North American open up wheel series, the place he severed both equally his legs in a shocking accident in 2001.

Throughout his recovery, Zanardi developed his have prosthetics and discovered to wander once more.

He then designed a sensational return to motorsport, winning 4 Earth Touring Vehicle races working with a specifically modified car.

That encouraged many others to follow, which include British driver Billy Monger, who received his initially race just two several years immediately after losing both his legs in an incident.


Monger guide tributes that bundled Italian Key Minister Giuseppe Conte, who tweeted that “All of Italy is fighting with you.”


After his motor racing profession, Zanardi turned his consideration to hand cycling and developed into a person of the most achieved athletes in the world.

He gained 4 gold medals and two silvers at the 2012 and 2016 Paralympics, competed in the New York City Marathon and established an Ironman document in his class.


Prison investigation opened

Prosecutors in Siena opened a legal investigation into the accident and the race’s organisation — particularly no matter whether plenty of security safeguards had been taken.

About 10 disabled riders were escorted by one particular law enforcement motor vehicle, nearby studies mentioned.


Witnesses stated the accident occurred on a downhill portion just in advance of a curve in the road. Zanardi evidently misplaced management and veered into the oncoming lane.

The truck evidently experimented with to swerve out of the way but couldn’t avoid the crash.

The truck driver, who was placed underneath investigation, analyzed adverse for alcohol and medications.

“The truck did not make a error. Alex produced the slip-up,” explained nationwide workforce mentor Mario Valentini, who was following the race.

The race was component of a two-7 days relay party during Italy to market the country’s revival soon after the coronavirus pandemic. It was produced by an affiliation led by Zanardi with an goal of bringing additional Italians to the Paralympics.


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