I wanted to start this blog by telling you about The Example, an ultra-runner, a man able to get you off the couch and make you start running like crazy.
Given the recent Paralympic events I had to, for the record, reverse the ladder and start this bi-monthly appointment with one of the people able to inspire.
It was September 14, 2001, three days after one of the most important days in modern history, Alex was in Germany to compete in a race of the Formula CART World Championship. At 14 laps from the end, probably because of some oil on the exit path of the pits, he lost control of the car and was struck by an oncoming competitor. 18 surgery saved his life, but not his legs, suffered the amputation of both legs above the knee.
A few months later during the ceremony of Autosprint, magazine of engines, he showed up on stage to receive an award, with the amazement of the audience. The minute after his arrival on stage, Alex was standing, after 18 operations he could tell he was not that excited for a long time and that his legs were trembling!
In that place, on that stage, in the midst of all those people and friends in tears Alex showed his true strength. Alex Zanardi has the power to perform feats hardly imaginable to us “human”, such as drive and win a Super Tourism Italian Championship in 2005, or participate the Olympics at 46 years old, winning with two gold and one silver with Hand Bike. He also participated to one of the most gruelling races in the world: the Iron Man of Kona, Hawaii.
But Alex is not only this, Alex is a boy who likes to try anything. I have a picture of his on the wall in my office which shows him sitting on the ground, still dressed in the complete bicycle suit and his hand bike.
In the first half of October Alex is back, thanks to the constant support of Team BMW Italy. In fact, in the second race of the day of the Italian Gran Turismo Championship at Mugello he was first at the finish line. Zanardi suffered a big trauma, but he’s always tries to find reasons to go on.
What I really recommend is to listen to his interviews, in which he minimizes his tragedy by giving more importance to what really matters in life.
Ladies and Gentlemen, this is Alex Zanardi.